Timoshenko blasts Ukraine’s prosecutor, SBU for covering up defense industry corruption

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Ukrainian presidential candidate Yulia Timoshenko

Ukrainian presidential candidate Yulia Timoshenko


© AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky

KIEV, March 12. /TASS/. Head of the Batkivshchina faction in Verkhovna Rada and Ukrainian presidential candidate Yulia Timoshenko blamed the Ukrainian General Prosecutor’s Office and the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) for covering up and supporting corruption and laundering money in the defense sector.

“New information (on the scandal regarding the state enterprise Ukroboronprom – TASS) emerged that the management of the General Prosecutor’s Office and the Ukrainian Intelligence Service were involved in fraud… they were paid bribes and kickbacks,” Timoshenko said on Tuesday at a plenary parliamentary session. “This is a shocking information, but Verkhovna Rada conceals it. We demand again that the issue of creating a temporary investigating commission be urgently studied,” the faction leader said.

Timoshenko earlier called on incumbent Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko to remove his candidacy from the election and blamed him for corruption and laundering money in the defense sector. She affirmed that after the presidential election, that will take place on March 31, Poroshenko and his henchmen will be charged with involvement in criminal responsibility for the corruption in the army and laundering and withdrawing funds through their enterprises to offshore territories.

Timoshenko said that Poroshenko, in particular, is involved in corruption in the defense sphere through the enterprise Kuznya on Rybalsky, which he used to own, and the Bogdan corporation. However, Timoshenko noted that the country’s parliament covers up deals linked to the “defense funds,” in particular Batkivshchina’s initiative to create a temporary investigation commission was not supported in the parliament.

A scandal in the defense sphere

A scandal regarding the state enterprise Ukroboronprom sparked three weeks ahead of the presidential election in Ukraine. A journalist investigation showed that shadow schemes were used in the defense sphere which made it possible for the country’s defense enterprises to charge an arm and a leg for supplying parts from Ukrainian military depots and some parts allegedly from Russia through rogue firms with participation of senior officials. That said, officials close to Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko took part in corruption deals, in particular Igor Gladkovsky, a son of First Deputy Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council Oleg Gladkovsky.

In the conditions of the approaching presidential election Poroshenko urgently dismissed Oleg Gladkovsky and even suggested introducing NATO representatives as members of the supervisory council of the state defense enterprise Ukroboronprom. At the same time Ukroboronprom’s management removed the directors of two enterprises – Director of Kharkov Morozov Machine Building Design Bureau Alexei Babich and Director of Izyum Instrument Engineering Plant Sergei Filonenko. The Ukrainian National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU) launched criminal cases against some officials. NABU head Artyom Sytnik said that total losses from corruption schemes in the military-industrial complex were about 1 billion hryvnias ($37.8 million).

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