On 21 January 2021, the Pechersk District Court of Kiev compelled Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova to review a motion filed by an attorney representing the owner of the company, Oleg Bakhmatyuk, seeking a change of jurisdiction in the NABU case. The court determined that NABU officials had a conflict of interest and found the charges baseless. Subsequently, on 28 January 2021, the Court of Appeal of Kiev dismissed an appeal, thereby upholding the Pechersk Court’s judgement of 21.01.2021.
The court expressly acknowledged as a fact something that we have been arguing from day one. The only true motive behind NABU’s pressure on the company disguised as an ‘investigation’ into the case against the former acting governor of the NBU, Oleksandr Pysaruk, and the owner of our company, Oleg Bakhmatyuk, is that NABU Director Artem Sytnyk has a direct conflict of interest. He has been definitively found guilty of corruption by the justice system in a case where a key witness for the prosecution was an aide to Oleg Bakhmatyuk’s sister.
But there’s more. The NABU detectives who have been terrorising our company for the past eighteen months and who at one point attempted to interrogate 10,000 company workers to intimidate them, have a conflict of interest too. They are being investigated by the SBU as part of a case against a certain Irena Ross who is charged with blackmailing employees of a bank formerly owned by the owner of our company. The VAB Bank refinancing case being used to terrorise our company was dismissed in court for lack of evidence of a criminal offence. It was after the blackmailer’s petition that the case was reopened and transferred to NABU. Irena Ross is wanted for blackmailing employees of VAB Bank. The investigators have found that she is connected to certain NABU detectives. By curious coincidence, the very same detectives are now ‘investigating’ the case against the owner of our company while in fact terrorising it. Upon reviewing the documents filed, the Pechersk Court also found the charges against the suspects in the NABU case against VAB Bank to be groundless.
NABU’s fictitious and fabricated case is just falling apart. The damage is done, however, and not a single NABU official has been held liable for that. The Ukrlandfarming group, that has created 30,000 jobs for Ukrainians and supported financially some 706 rural communities all over Ukraine, leased land from 298,000 individual land owners, built thousands of production facilities in almost every region of the country, and paid UAH 7.8 billion in taxes of all levels over the past 3 years while generating 1.1% of Ukraine’s GDP, has sustained huge losses. And so has the government and the entire Ukrainian economy.
As a consequence of the unlawful terror unleashed by NABU, 37 Ukrlandfarming group companies have been completely shut down putting 13,000 Ukrainians out of a job and resulting in a shortfall in tax payments of UAH 1.5 billion in the last year alone. Cattle farms are being closed down including unique breeding facilities. So are egg farms. The number of victims of NABU Director Artem Sytnyk’s personal vendetta is bound to grow unless the legal system protects us from the continued abuse by corrupt public officials.
We expect this court decision to become the starting point of cleansing NABU of those unworthy to serve. NABU must fight those it is duty-bound to fight, corrupt public officials and not Ukrainian peasants. Truth will ultimately prevail. And this court decision must become the beginning of restoring justice in Ukraine.