Deputy Prosecutor General of Ukraine, Head of the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office (SAP) Nazar Kholodnytskyi said in an interview with Censor.NET.
According to the SAP chief, Oleksandr Onyshchenko is suspected of committing several criminal offenses including creation of a criminal ring involved in grievous and extremely grievous crimes such as embezzlement of funds owned by Ukrhazvydobuvannia PJSC through the purchase of jointly produced gas at fictitious auctions at reduced prices and its further resale at the market rates.
He also added that the investigation reached its home stretch: "We have completed all investigative activities needed to prove the charges brought against the aforementioned persons, including Member of the Ukrainian Parliament Oleksandr Onyshchenko. Seven members of the criminal ring plea-bargained and testified against other ring members and leaders. One of them has even voluntarily reimbursed damage in the amount of 6 million hryvnia caused by his actions," the official said.
"However, a number of requests for international legal assistance remain unanswered at the moment and we still wait for certain expert reports," Kholodnytskyi added.
On March 16, the NABU raided the office of 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 remove the immunity from people's deputy 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, arrest, and pre-trial detention of Onyshchenko. On July 5, the parliament approved the detention and arrest of the lawmaker.
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 U.K. and had applied for political asylum.
On Dec. 1, 2016, the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) announced it suspected fugitive MP Onyshchenko of high treason. As noted, the MP acquired Russian citizenship in exchange for cooperation with Russian authorities to destabilize the situation in Ukraine. On the same day, Onyshchenko said he had provided compromising materials against President Poroshenko to the U.S. intelligence.
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