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Ukrainian former officials to face trial for budget funds embezzlement

Five individuals, including former local government officials and private company executives, will stand trial on 5 June 2024, for allegedly embezzling over UAH 27 million ($672,000) during the construction of a kindergarten in the suburbs of Kyiv.
Judge's gavel and weight scale.
Judge’s gavel and weight scale. Source: Depositphotos
Ukrainian former officials to face trial for budget funds embezzlement

According to the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office (SAP), the High Anti-Corruption Court (HACC) scheduled a trial for five individuals accused of embezzling over UAH 27 million ($672, 000) during the construction of a kindergarten in the suburbs of Kyiv. The suspects include former local government officials and private company executives.

After the 2014 Euromaidan Revolution, Ukraine prioritized anti-corruption reforms, leading to the creation of the High Anti-Corruption Court in 2019, with two other institutions, the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) and the Special Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office (SAP), working along.  In 2023 alone, the court convicted 84 individuals, compared to 49 in 2022 and 32 in 2021.

Between December 2017 and March 2018, the officials ensured that a predetermined bidder won the tender for the construction project. The contractor was paid despite not completing a portion of the work and purchasing materials at increased prices. Furthermore, the officials entered into agreements with another contractor for design work, already completed under a previous agreement.

Ultimately, the kindergarten was never built, and the participants in the crime misappropriated over UAH 27 million ($672, 000) in budget funds between 2018 and 2020, according to the investigation.

The actions of the accused individuals are classified under Part 5 of Article 191 (misappropriation, embezzlement of property or acquisition of it through abuse of office), Part 1 of Article 366 (official forgery), and Part 2 of Article 209 (legalization (laundering) of proceeds from crime) of the Criminal Code of Ukraine.

The trial is set for 5 June 2024.

Ukraine ranked 104th out of 180 countries in Transparency International’s 2023 Corruption Perceptions Index with a score of 36/100.  The score improved by 11 points since 2013-2014’s Revolution of Dignity and by three points from the previous year, one of the best results globally. 


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