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Prosecutors to request arrest of agriculture minister over alleged illegal acquisition of state-owned land

by Kateryna Denisova April 24, 2024 11:17 PM 2 min read
Ukraine's Agriculture Minister Mykola Solskyi (Ukraine's Agriculture Ministry/Facebook)
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Ukraine's Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office (SAPO) will request the arrest of Agriculture Minister Mykola Solskyi with an alternative option of a Hr 200 million ($5 million) bail, Economic Pravda reported on April 24.

Solskyi was accused of illegally appropriating Ukrainian state-owned land worth Hr 291 million ($7.3 million) and attempting to seize another plot worth an additional Hr 190 million ($4.8 million), according to Ukraine's National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU).

A session of Ukraine's High Anti-Corruption Court of Ukraine, where preventative measures were supposed to be imposed against the minister, was postponed until April 25.

Solskyi was reportedly called up to the parliament to meet with the President Volodymyr Zelensky's Servant of the People faction.

NABU said that the scheme involved the destruction of documents that showed the Ukrainian state had permanent ownership of two plots of land in Sumy Oblast.

Following this, the conspirators, allegedly including Solskyi, worked from 2017-2021 to create new fictitious land ownership documents.

The documents were then reportedly distributed amongst the members of the scheme, resulting in the seizure of the first plot, worth Hr 291 million ($7.3 million).

At least four people have been accused of participating in the scheme, according to NABU.

Following the accusations, a group of lawmakers registered a draft resolution in the parliament to dismiss Solskyi.

Solskyi has denied the allegations, saying he was not planning on resigning. He said that the case concerned the period of 2017-2018 when Solskyi served as a lawyer, not as a minister.

"I guarantee maximum openness to establish the truth, but there is no need for this — all the data is open to law enforcement, and the evidence and arguments of the parties are being considered by the courts," the minister said.

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