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Court extends detention of suspect in Defense Ministry corruption scandal

by Abbey Fenbert and The Kyiv Independent news desk February 27, 2024 4:42 AM 2 min read
From left to right, Yurii Kholod, Chairman of the Lviv Regional Council, businessman Ihor Hrynkevych, and Lviv Oblast Governor Maksym Kozytskyi in an undated photo. (Maksym Kozytskyi/Facebook)
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The Kyiv Pechersk District court extended the detention of Lviv businessman Ihor Hrynkevych,who is under investigation for a large-scale corruption scheme, by one month, the Ukrainian news outlet Suspilne reported on Feb. 26.

Hrynkevych will remain in custody until March 29. Tetiana Sapian, communications adviser for the State Bureau of Investigation (DBR), confirmed the court's decision to Suspilne.

Hrynkevych was one of the Defense Ministry's biggest suppliers, winning 23 tenders with his companies. He allegedly failed to complete his contracts and supplied the Ukrainian Armed Forces with low-quality military clothing that could not be used.

According to law enforcement, Hrynkevych cost the Defense Ministry Hr 1.2 billion ($31.6 million) in financial damages.

Hrynkevych was arrested on Dec. 30 while allegedly attempting to bribe a top DBR official. He is charged with offering $500,000 to a state employee in exchange for the return of properties that were confiscated during criminal proceedings.

The court seized more of Hrynkevych's property in January. Associates of Hrynkevych, including his son, Roman, have also been arrested in connection with the defense procurement scandal.

According to Sapian, the court made the decision to extend Hrynkevych's custody on Feb. 23.  The day prior, Feb. 22, the Kyiv Court of Appeals rejected an appeal from Hrynkevych's lawyer against the restraint measure handed down by the Pechersk court. The measure called for custody with the possibility of bail totaling over Hr 429,000 ($11,168).

Since the beginning of Russia's full-scale invasion, Ukraine's Defense Ministry has been involved in several corruption scandals. The most notorious led to the dismissal of former Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov, one regarding inflated prices for food supplies and the other connected to low-quality winter jackets.

Who is Viktor Pavlushchyk, newly-elected head of key Ukrainian anti-corruption agency?
Viktor Pavlushchyk was chosen on Feb. 25 as the head of the National Agency for Corruption Prevention (NACP) - one of Ukraine’s main corruption fighting bodies. The Cabinet of Ministers has yet to formally appoint him as the head of the NACP. Pavlushchyk is a detective at the National Anti-Corrupt…
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