NABU chief Artem Sytnyk told Dzerkalo Tyzhnia, Censor.NET reports.
"Today, we registered a criminal investigation in connection with the statement by member of parliament Oleksandr Onyshchenko about the parliamentary graft. Some of his allegations have no criminal ground, as I see it, but there are some concrete statements on concrete grafts for concrete voting. This is being said by a person that participated in it. I haven't seen anything like that since I've been working at the NABU," Sytnyk said.
"I would call this a voluntary surrender that was voiced on air of TV channels, including, unfortunately, Russian ones. So we decided that as long as there is this nuance, this is not just a statement of one political force against another political force, but a statement of a certain person confirming his participation in the graft, we will register this investigation," Sytnyk said.
NABU chief said the agency would ask Onyshchenko to provide audio and video recordings that he allegedly made and testify on each of the matters in the pre-trial investigation that was launched on Dec. 7.
Dec. 2, fugitive Ukrainian MP Oleksandr Onyshchenko announced on air of Russian TV channel Rossiya 1 that he was offering and transferring money to members of the parliament on behalf of President Poroshenko for their votes on certain matters, as agreed with the presidential administration.
On March 16, the National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU) raided the office of Oleksandr Onyshchenko. It stated the searches were carried out under the pre-trial investigation into abuse of office during the sale of natural gas extracted jointly with Ukrhazvydobuvannia SE.
Later, the NABU requested the Prosecutor General's Office (PGO) to lift the immunity of people's deputy Oleksandr Onyshchenko. Moreover, the NABU and the PGO claim Onyshchenko is involved in embezzlement of 1.6 billion hryvnia (approx. $64.02 million).
On June 16, Prosecutor General Yurii Lutsenko issued a motion requesting Verkhovna Rada's consent for criminal prosecution, detention, and pretrial confinement of Onyshchenko. On July 5, the parliament approved the detention and arrest of the people's deputy.
The suspect himself stated he was busy with the preparation for the upcoming Olympics and not going to react to NABU's actions. On July 29, Onyshchenko said he was in the UK and had applied for political asylum.
On Dec.1, Chief of the Main Investigation Department of the Security Service of Ukraine Hryhorii Ostafiichuk announced that the SBU had found elements of high treason in the actions of MP Oleksandr Onyshchenko.
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