KYIV - October 23, 2020. The Ukrainian Bar Association sent an open appeal to law enforcement agencies to ensure the impartiality of their activities, strict compliance with criminal procedure legislation and compliance with international human rights standards.
The legal community is concerned about the suspicion of a lawyer, a member of the UBA, former head of the State Tax Service of Ukraine Serhiy Verlanov. According to the website of the Prosecutor General's Office the suspicion was served on October 20 calling the suspected abuse of power and official position.
The report states that Mr. Verlanov allegedly wrongfully satisfied the complaint of one of the largest investors in the Ukrainian economy, PJSC ArcelorMittal Kryvyi Rih. As a result, the state was allegedly harmed in the amount of the tax notice-decision.
In turn, the Ukrainian Bar Association drew attention to issues that cast doubt on the impartiality of the pre-trial investigation:
1. The pre-trial investigation in the criminal proceedings was carried out by investigators of the Main Investigation Department of the State Security Service under the procedural guidance of prosecutors of the Office of the Prosecutor General, and not by a law enforcement body specified by law. The UBA reminded that the investigation of this category of cases is the exclusive competence of NABU.
2. The only person authorized to report this suspicion is the prosecutor of the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office.
3. The essence of suspicion is reduced to the performance by the Head of State Tax Service of Ukraine of the discretionary powers aimed at ensuring the rights of the big investor with high business reputation, instead of the doubtful enterprise causes.
The full text of the open appeal is available by the link (in Ukrainian).