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MP from Zelensky's party charged with bribery concludes plea bargain
Oleksandr Trukhin, a lawmaker from the ruling Servant of the People party, said on Feb. 22 he had concluded a plea bargain with investigators and pleaded guilty to offering a bribe to a police officer.
"I understand that I did something foolish, and it is wrong. I am ready to be punished for this," Trukhin said at a High Anti-Corruption Court hearing.
The anti-corruption prosecutor's office said on Sept. 7 that it had charged Trukhin with offering an Hr 150,000 ($4,000) bribe to police officers. Trukhin made the offer in August 2021 after allegedly causing a car accident that injured six people, according to video footage from the scene.
According to the court, Trukhin and the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office signed an agreement that requires the lawmaker to pay Hr 6 million ($163,000) to support the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
This payment is intended to show Trukhin's remorse for his actions. Specifically, the funds will be allocated to the United24 project and the "Army of Drones."
Trukhin must also pay a fine of Hr 68,000 ($1800), the maximum amount for the article he is charged under. In addition, the Hr 49,000 ($1300) that Trukhin had deposited during the investigation will be transferred to the Armed Forces.
While signing the plea deal, Trukhin admitted to offering a bribe to leave the scene of the accident as quickly as possible. The prosecutor clarified that the agreement did not concern Trukhin's participation in the accident itself.
According to the prosecution, Trukhin's crime was not serious enough to warrant a more severe punishment than a fine. This decision was also influenced by the fact that Trukhin has two children.
Once the sentence becomes final, Trukhin will lose his mandate as a lawmaker.