26 Apr 2024 13:28

Ukrainian agriculture minister suspected of seizing state land remanded in custody

MOSCOW. April 26 (Interfax) - Ukraine's High Anti-Corruption Court (HACC) has remanded Agrarian Policy and Food Minister Nikolai Solsky, suspected of seizing state-owned land, in custody.

Ukrainian media reported, quoting a broadcast of the session, that the court decided to apply a preventive measure to Solsky in the form of detention for 60 days (until June 24, 2024 inclusive) with the possibility of posting bail in the amount of 25,000 subsistence minimums for able-bodied persons, namely UAH 75.7 million, which can be posted either by the suspect himself or by another person.

Not long before this, Solsky tendered his resignation as Agrarian Policy and Food Minister. The Verkhovna Rada will consider it at one of the next plenary meetings, parliament speaker Ruslan Stefanchuk said.

On April 23, the National Anti-corruption Bureau of Ukraine or NABU notified Solsky he was suspected of seizing state land worth UAH 291 million and attempting to seize land worth another UAH 190 million. The minister denied the accusations, saying that "the events of which I, according to NABU, am suspected relate to the period 2017-2018, that is, when I was a lawyer and was not the Agrarian Policy and Food Minister or chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Agrarian and Land Policy."

On April 25, the leading agricultural associations of Ukraine filed a plea with the HACC to grant Solsky bail, and also expressed confidence in his ministry's work.

The HACC has heard the prosecution and defense. The Special Anti-corruption Prosecutor demanded that the minister be detained, and if a decision is made to release him on the bail posted by two representatives of agricultural associations - head of the Ukrainian Agrarian Confederation Maria Didukh and deputy head of the Ukrainian Agrarian Council Denis Marchuk - to prohibit Solsky from communicating with other suspects and rom leaving Kiev and force him to wear an electronic bracelet and to post a bond of UAH 200 million.