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High Anti-Corruption Court provides first monetary award to whistleblower

by Nate Ostiller and The Kyiv Independent news desk October 2, 2023 10:02 PM 2 min read
A view of Ukraine's High Anti-Corruption Court (HACC) building in Kyiv, Ukraine, on Sept. 5, 2019. (Photo by STR/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
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Ukraine's High Anti-Corruption Court (HACC) announced on Oct. 2 that it had ruled to pay Hr 13.3 million (about $360,000) to a whistleblower in the case of a $6 million bribe attempted by a former first deputy of the Kyiv State Fiscal Service back in 2020.

The case against the former deputy, Mykola Iliashenko, is the first example of a corruption-related whistleblower receiving a monetary award for their role in prosecuting a crime.

Iliashenko was one of three individuals involved in a plan in 2020 to bribe Ukraine's top anti-corruption officials Nazar Kholodnitskiy, head of the Special Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office (SAPO), and Artem Sytnyk, head of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU).

The $6 million dollar payment was supposed to put an end to a state investigation into one of Viktor Yanukovych-era ecology minister Mykola Zlochevsky allegedly illegal enrichment schemes.

The scheme was the biggest reported bribe attempt in Ukrainian history.

The officials went along with the bribe, faking the case's termination in order to lure the corrupt officials into handing over the $6 million. Kholodnitskiy and Sytnyk then ordered the arrest of Iliashenko and two of Zlochevsky's aides.

According to a law that came into effect in 2020, whistleblowers are entitled to 10% of the associated total figure in a corruption case.

Although the court's announcement did not identify the individual, the whistleblower himself described his involvement in the case and the monetary award he received.

Yevhen Shevchenko, the whistleblower, wrote on Facebook that Hr 50 million ($1.3 million) that the defendant was forced to pay as part of the settlement was donated to Ukraine's military and that he had received Hr 13.3 million (about $360,000) as a reward.

The HACC was created in 2018 to prosecute high-profile corruption cases.

Since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, the court has prosecuted a number of high-profile corruption cases, including the confiscation of assets of collaborator Volodymyr Saldo, a Ukrainian politician who defected to Russia and was placed in charge of the occupied part of southern Kherson Oblast.

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