2 Jun 2022 18:45

Treason case against Medvedchuk submitted to court in Ukraine

MOSCOW. June 2 (Interfax) - Ukraine's State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) has finished probing the criminal case in which Ukrainian MP Viktor Medvedchuk is suspected of high treason and attempt to plunder national property, the SBI said on Telegram on Thursday.

"Investigators of the State Bureau of Investigation have completed the pretrial investigation as part of the criminal proceedings on suspicion of Ukrainian people's deputy (Opposition Platform - For Life) Viktor Medvedchuk's involvement in criminal offenses described in Article 111 (high treason) and Article 438 (violation of the laws and customs of war) of the Ukrainian Penal Code," the SBI said in a statement.

The act of indictment has been sent to court, the SBI said.

The essence of the charges brought against Medvedchuk is that he and another member of parliament representing the same party, who is currently on the wanted list, acting together with Russian officials, "attempted to plunder national assets," it said, specifying that illegal extraction of oil and gas on the Black Sea shelf near Crimea is in question.

According to investigators, Medvedchuk provided Russia with "assistance in conducting subversive activities against Ukraine."

"He collected information about the places where Ukraine's military formations were deployed, and [where] combat training activities took place. He helped engage Ukrainian citizens in actions detrimental to the state in order to destabilize the sociopolitical situation," the SBI said.

As reported earlier, the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) in 2021 filed several suspicions against Medvedchuk on counts of high treason, abetting activities of a terrorist organization and attempting to plunder national resources in Crimea, a territory that Kyiv continues considering its own, branding it as temporarily occupied.

One of the criminal cases in question concerns organizing illegal schemes for deliveries of coal from areas of the Luhansk and Donetsk People's Republics. The commodity was allegedly paid for in cash.

Another criminal case deals with PrikarpatZapadTrans LLC's illicit seizure of a section of the state-owned oil pipeline worth more than 200 million hryvni. In February 2021, Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council reinstated the state ownership of the pipeline.

In April 2022, SBU officers detained Medvedchuk after he had escaped from house arrest and spent some time on the run.