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Sumy mayor removed from position amidst ongoing corruption investigation

by Elsa Court and The Kyiv Independent news desk October 9, 2023 8:29 PM 1 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. (National Anti-Corruption Bureau/Telegram)
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Sumy Mayor Oleksandr Lysenko has been removed from his position until Dec. 9, Ukraine's High Anti-Corruption Court ruled on Oct. 9.

On Oct. 2, Lysenko and Oleksandr Zhurba, the head of the city's infrastructure department, were detained for allegedly accepting a bribe of Hr 1.4 million ($38,000), and detained by the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) and NABU (National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine).

The money was the last tranche of a Hr 2.13 million ($58,000) bribe that a local garbage collection company had to pay in order to avoid "artificial obstacles in conducting business," the SBU said.  

The suspects received the bribe in tranches from November 2022 to October 2023, investigators believe.

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

On Oct. 4, the court chose a preventative measure against Lysenko in the form of pretrial detention with a bail of Hr 3 million ($82,000). The following day, he was released on bail.  

Following the court's decision that he will be removed as mayor of Sumy for the next two months, Lysenko and his lawyer told Suspilne, Ukraine's national public broadcaster, that they plan to appeal the decision.

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