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Media: Deputy minister suspected of illegal acquisition of state-owned land returns to Ukraine

by Kateryna Hodunova and The Kyiv Independent news desk April 29, 2024 2:04 PM 2 min read
Ukraine's Deputy Agricultural Minister Markiyan Dmytrasevych. (Ukraine's Agriculture Minister)
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Deputy Agricultural Minister Markiian Dmytrasevych, who is one of the suspects in an illegal land acquisition case involving Agriculture Minister Mykola Solskyi, returned to Ukraine from abroad, Ukrainian media outlet Hromadske reported on April 29, citing a statement from the Agriculture Ministry.

Dmytrasevych was revealed as one of the suspects on April 24 when Ukraine's High Anti-Corruption Court postponed the hearing due to Solskyi allegedly being called to Ukraine's parliament.

Law enforcement services did not hand Dmytrasevych a suspicion notice as he was abroad on a business trip. Dmytrasevych left Ukraine on April 12.

The Agriculture Ministry said that Dmytrasevych had stayed in Skopje in North Makedonia from April 12 to 21 and then traveled to Brussels as part of an official delegation. He was meant to stay in Belgium until April 28 but returned earlier, according to the ministry.

The ministry claimed that Dmytrasevych notified Ukraine's Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office (SAPO) about his trip and said he would return to Ukraine afterward.

SAPO did not provide further details to Hromadske and said that the investigation is ongoing.

Solskyi is suspected 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).

Ukraine's High Anti-Corruption Court ordered the arrest of the minister on April 26. Solskyi was ordered to be held in custody until June 24, but he posted a Hr 75.7 million ($1.9 million) bail on the same day and was released.

The ministry later reported that Solskyi returned to perform his work duties despite the news of his announced resignation.

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