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Agriculture minister accused of illegal acquisition of state-owned land arrested, promptly released on $1.9 million bail

by Dinara Khalilova and The Kyiv Independent news desk April 26, 2024 9:14 AM 2 min read
Ukraine's Agriculture Minister Mykola Solskyi (Ukraine's Agriculture Ministry/Facebook)
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Editor's note: This article has been updated to reflect new updates to the story.

Ukraine's High Anti-Corruption Court ordered the arrest of Agriculture Minister Mykola Solskyi, suspected of illegally acquiring state-owned land, Ukrainian media outlets reported early on April 26.

Solskyi was ordered to be held in custody until June 24 unless he posted bail, set at Hr 75.7 million ($1.9 million), according to Suspilne.

Later in the day, the ministry wrote on Facebook that Solskyi had posted the bail and was released from custody. Solskyi reportedly returned to perform his work duties, the ministry added.

Solskyi is suspected of illegally appropriating Ukrainian state-owned land worth Hr 291 million ($7.4 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).

Ukraine's Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office (SAPO) announced on April 24 that it will request the arrest of Solskyi with an alternative option of a Hr 200 million ($5 million) bail. The court reduced the requested bail more than twice.

After posting bail, Solskyi will be obliged to wear an electronic bracelet and to hand over his passport and other documents, Suspline wrote. The minister would be reportedly forbidden to leave Kyiv and communicate with his deputy and witnesses in the case.

Solskyi submitted his resignation to the Ukrainian parliament on April 25, just a day after he said he had not planned to resign. His resignation is expected to be considered during the next plenary session.

Solskyi denied the allegations on April 24, saying that the case concerned the period of 2017-2018 when he served as a lawyer, not as a minister.

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