Ukraine faces diplomatic scandal due to unauthorized actions of NABU in Austria

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The National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine began to conduct unauthorized investigative actions in the case of Pisaruk-Bakhmatyuk in Austria

On Monday, December 16, Oleg Bakhmatyuk's lawyers Tetyana Kozachenko and Oleksiy Shevchuk said in a press-conference that investigative actions are carried out without knowledge and approval of the law enforcement agencies of the Republic of Austria. Ukrainian News reports.

Such illegal actions can lead to serious diplomatic scandal, because the conduct of such unauthorized actions is a direct interference in the internal affairs of the Republic of Austria, lawyers explain.
"Our Austrian lawyers and clients informed us that the NABU investigators in Austria are carrying out procedural actions without notifying local law enforcement agencies. In particular, they sent out calls and messages in an out-of-process manner. Public statement on the agenda for any procedural actions is a separate procedural action provided for in the Code of Criminal Procedure, which may take place exclusively in the manner prescribed by law. There is the European Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters, which Ukraine validated, and which has clearly defined how procedural actions can take place in other countries. While carrying out the procedure, The NABU failed to involve diplomatic missions and Austrian law enforcement agencies, and is investigating on its own. This is an interference with sovereignty of another state," said lawyer Tetyana Kozachenko.

The Austrian lawyers have already prepared appeals to the Austrian law enforcement agencies regarding the illegal actions of the Ukrainian law enforcement agencies in the territory of Austria, she added.
According to the Ukrainian lawyers, the NABU investigators who committed these illegal actions, and prosecutors who had sanctioned them, can be prosecuted criminally in Austria.
The lawyers also said that the NABU hadn't yet given the defense access to the case files. According to Tetyana Kozachenko, they promise to provide access to the case files of the NABU to the advocacy no earlier than December 20, which is a direct violation of human rights.

In addition, the NABU has appointed Oleg Bakhmatyuk state attorneys, although the Ministry of Justice (Center for the provision of free legal assistance) and the Anti-Corruption Court have reported that there are lawyers who formally represent Oleg Bakhmatyuk. So lawyers still can't start carrying out their professional duties to fulfill the client's instructions to represent his interests, which is a gross violation of their client's rights which enshrined in the Constitution of Ukraine, particularly the rights and freedoms of human and citizen - Article 59 of the Constitution states that everyone free to choose an advocate of his rights.

"For today, the Ministry of Justice has been involved in this scheme in order to put pressure on Bakhmatyuk and his family. They found three free state lawyers and gave them certificates of representation of Bakhmatyuk, Vasilyuk and Maltsev. Namely, the NABU provided state lawyers in order to create the appearance of the defense process and despite the fact they refused state lawyers a week ago," said lawyer Oleksiy Shevchuk.
According to him, the NABU doesn't want to recognize them as lawyers in the case and is trying to impose free lawyers in order to exclude appeal of illegal actions.
The lawyers noted that their clients - Oleg Bakhmatyuk, Natalya Vasilyuk and Denis Maltsev, don't have any procedural statuses in this case and can't have them.

"There has been no news from the law enforcement agencies on this case over the past three weeks, because they don't know what to do with this case, how to investigate it, because the lawyers have done everything to exclude abuse. There is no reason to search for Mr. Bakhmatyuk. All information about the search for Bakhmatyuk is fake and Bakhmatyuk is not on the international wanted list. We told Interpol that this case has exclusively political implications," said Oleksiy Shevchuk.

The Pisaruk-Bakhmatyuk case, which has been re-opened by the NABU in violation of the current legislation, concerns receiving refinancing of the NBU by VAB Bank. The official conclusions of the assessments of mortgaged property, the conclusions of the Deposit Guarantee Fund for individuals and NBU statements regarding the use of refinancing to pay funds to depositors have so far refuted the accusations made publicly by NABU to the businessman.

In addition, Oleg Bakhmatyuk himself repeatedly proposed to repay the bank debt which was withdrawn from the market by a decision of the NBU, using restructuring mechanisms, but hasn't received a response to his proposal yet.

As known, on Friday, December 13, the NABU head, Artem Sytnyk, lost an appeal in the case of corruption. The Rivne Court of Appeal finally found Artem Sytnik guilty of a corruption offense, he should be dismissed from his post, as he entered the list of corrupt officials.