Ukrainian court orders investigation on fugitive ex-minister Klymenko in absentia

Ukrainian court orders investigation on fugitive ex-minister Klymenko in absentiaKyiv's Holosiyivsky District Court on Wednesday authorised conducting a special pretrial investigation in absentia of fugitive former Income and Tax Minister of Ukraine Oleksandr Klymenko.

"After 17 hours of 'procedural' arguments and games played by [Klymenko's] lawyers, presiding judge Myroshnychenko, having reviewed more than 30 submissions made by the defense, permitted the special pretrial investigation (in absentia) of the case involving Klymenko," head of Ukraine's Prosecutor General's Office Yuriy Lutsenko on Wednesday said on his Facebook page.

The PGO head said they believe that over the period starting in April 2012 through September 2013, while heading the Income and Tax Ministry and "as a member of the criminal group created and headed by ex-President Viktor Yanukovych, Klymenko misused his official position with the aim of self-enrichment. Lutsenko added that by means of a criminal plan Klymenko helped to embezzle some UAH 3.166 billion by illegally paying value-added tax (VAT) compensation to the accounts of fake companies in especially large amounts. The illegal gains were subsequently divvied up by members of the criminal organization."
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