Statement by the Press Office of the Ukrlandfarming Group in Response to Mr Shabunin Persistently Disseminating Lies and Slander

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On 21 April, viewers of Channel 24 witnessed manipulations attempted by the head of the Anticorruption Centre NGO, Mr. Vitaliy Shabunin who is a suspect in a criminal case investigating embezzlement of USD 133 million worth of HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria grant funding.  Mr. Shabunin told a blatant lie during the show suggesting that the proposal by our owner, Oleg Bakhmatyuk, to settle the debt of VAB Bank by paying UAH 8 billion to the government had been made under pressure from the ongoing investigation: ‘For example,  the case of Bakhmatyuk who is the former owner of VAB Bank now hiding abroad. Now that they’ve almost hunted him down, he’s ready to give up UAH 8 billion to the state budget to avoid prison’ said Shabunin. We have refuted Shabunin’s statement with evidence proving that he knowingly lied to and misled the TV channel’s audience.

However, as recently as last week, Shabunin repeated the same lies on several more TV shows. We would like to remind Mr. Shabunin as a suspect in a criminal case being investigated by the National Police of Ukraine into the stealing of aid for the sick that the UAH 8 billion settlement was proposed to the government for the first time two years ago, long before NABU began attacking our owner.
Mr. Shabunin, by continuing to disseminate those blatant lies, whether to exact vengeance or acting on the orders of other people – you know your motives better, you are giving the public the opportunity to find out for themselves what any of your statements are really worth. And we are certain that your activities as a ‘civic activist’ will sooner or later be scrutinised by the law enforcement authorities.