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Court keeps Kolomoisky in custody, rejects house arrest appeal

by Martin Fornusek and The Kyiv Independent news desk September 25, 2023 7:13 PM 2 min read
Ukrainian business tycoon and one of Ukraine's most famous billionaires, Ihor Kolomoisky, was arrested after being suspected of fraud at a court hearing in Kyiv on Sept. 2, 2023. (Maxym Marusenko/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
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The Kyiv Court of Appeals refused to change oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky's detention measure to house arrest and upheld the bail of Hr 3.8 billion ($105 million), Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reported on Sept. 25.

Kolomoisky, one of Ukraine's most well-known business tycoons and billionaires, was arrested on Sept. 2 for fraud and money laundering related to his oil and gas holdings.

The National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) handed Kolomoisky additional criminal charges on Sept. 7, accusing him of embezzling $250 million from PrivatBank in 2015.

Following the new charge, Kyiv's Shevchenkivskyi district court increased the oligarch's bail from Hr 509 million ($14 million) to $105 million.

Interfax-Ukraine reported that Kolomoisky's lawyers said they are not satisfied with the court's "unexpected" decision and will discuss how to proceed further.

Kolomoisky used to control Ukrtatnafta, Ukraine's largest refining company until it was seized by the government in November, citing it as a critical national resource during martial law.

The company reportedly refused to pay Hr 3.2 billion ($90 million) in taxes last year.    

Kolomoisky also owned over 40% of Ukrnafta, an oil and gas extractor, through multiple smaller companies in his orbit. The Ukrainian state seized this company as well last year.

In 2016, the government also nationalized PrivatBank, the country's largest bank - when Kolomoisky co-owned it, the bank's fraudulent activities left a $5.5 billion hole in its balance sheet.

The oligarch's business dealings through these companies careened from scandal to scandal over the previous decade.

Kolomoisky also faces various lawsuits and charges in the U.K., U.S., Israel, and Ukraine.

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