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Sumy mayor held in custody on corruption charges

by Nate Ostiller and The Kyiv Independent news desk October 4, 2023 11:45 PM 2 min read
Ukrainian law enforcement officers arrest Sumy Mayor Oleksandr Lysenko after he allegedly received the last tranche of a $58,000 bribe on Oct. 2, 2023. (Ukraine’s Security Service/Telegram)
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Oleksandr Lysenko, mayor of the northeastern regional capital of Sumy, will remain in custody with the possibility of posting a Hr 3,000,000 bail (about $82,000), Ukraine's High Anti-Corruption Court (HACC) announced on Facebook on Oct. 4.

The mayor of Sumy and the chief of the city council’s infrastructure department were arrested by the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) on Oct. 2 while receiving the last portion of a Hr 2.13 million ($58,000) bribe.

According to the SBU, the officials demanded a bribe from a local company involved in garbage disposal, threatening to obstruct the business if the company refused to pay.

The suspects allegedly received the bribe in tranches from November 2022 to October 2023, with the last payment of around $38,000 taken on Oct. 2, added the report.

If convicted, the officials might face up to eight years in prison, along with the possible confiscation of property.

"I did not see this money, I did not receive it, and I was not near it," Lysenko told the court, according to a reporter from the news outlet Suspilne who was in the courtroom for the proceedings.

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