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Law enforcement: Criminal case against anti-corruption activist Shabunin in accordance with court's decision

by Martin Fornusek and The Kyiv Independent news desk March 12, 2024 10:42 PM 2 min read
Vitaly Shabunin (L) speaks at the Ukrainian school of political studies on Sept. 26, 2019.
Vitaliy Shabunin (L) speaks at the Ukrainian school of political studies on Sept. 26, 2019. (Ukrainian school of political studies/Facebook)
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Editor's Note: Tetiana Sapian told the press that the State Bureau of Investigation received a statement from the head of the Public Integrity Council NGO, Rostyslav Kravets. Kravets created his organization, a namesake of the Public Integrity Council that vets judges, and has been accused of attempting to influence public opinion and distort rulings.

The State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) had opened a criminal case against Vitaliy Shabunin, the head of the board of the Anti-Corruption Action Center, based on a decision of the Shevchenkivskyi court in Kyiv, the bureau's official told RFE/RL on March 12.

The story about a criminal case against Shabunin broke out on March 7, when a scandalous journalist Volodymyr Boiko said the bureau had initiated two criminal investigations against the activist based on allegations of document forgery and military service evasion.

"Last October, the bureau received a statement regarding the possible illegal actions of the Anti-Corruption Action Center's head," the bureau's communications advisor, Tetiana Sapian, told RFE/RL.

Already in November, the Shevchenkivskyi court in Kyiv informed the bureau of its decision to open an investigation. Based on the court's order, the bureau launched criminal proceedings in December 2023 under the articles of documents forgery and evasion of military service, Sapian said.

Shabunin has denied the accusations.

In a Facebook post published on March 9, he said that he volunteered for military service at the start of the full-scale war, publishing an associated document as proof.

The activist also called the alleged forgery of the National Agency on Corruption Prevention's documents impossible, as the agency processes its documentation electronically.

Shabunin believes that the cases against him are part of a targeted campaign by President Volodymyr Zelensky's deputy chief of staff, Oleh Tatarov.

Tatarov, who has been regularly criticized by Shabunin, was charged with bribery in 2020, but the case has been obstructed by law enforcement agencies for a long time and eventually closed.

The Anti-Corruption Action Center, co-founded by Shabunin in 2012, is one of Ukraine's most prominent non-governmental organizations aimed to tackle corruption in the country.

Umerov: ‘Corruption during war is worse than terrorism’
“Corruption during war is worse for me than terrorism. There will be no negotiations with those who steal from our soldiers and our society,” Defense Minister Rustem Umerov said, as quoted by a Kyiv Independent reporter.
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