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MP from Zelensky's party investigated for trip to Maldives

by Elsa Court July 26, 2023 2:21 PM 2 min read
Law enforcement officers conducted a search of Yurii Aristov's apartment as part of the ongoing investigation into his trip to the Maldives, on July 26, 2023 (Image: State Bureau of Investigation)
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Ukrainian law enforcement agencies said on July 26 they had opened an investigation against Yury Aristov, a member of parliament from President Volodymyr Zelensky's Servant of the People party.

The investigation was announced by the Security Service of Ukraine, the State Investigation Bureau and the Prosecutor General's Office.

Aristov, who is also a deputy chairman of parliament's national security committee, traveled to the Maldives in mid-July, despite the ban on officials traveling abroad on leisure, according to an investigation by the Slidstvo.info journalism project.

He was sighted at the 5-star Waldorf Astoria resort, which is located on a private island, Slidstvo.info reported.

Journalists at Slidstvo.info then called the hotel and received confirmation that Aristov had been a guest. Google search results show that the average price of a one-night stay at the resort is over $2,700.

According to preliminary information, the MP claimed he was on a "business trip" in order to be able to leave Ukraine.

The Prosecutor General's Office stated that searches are ongoing at Aristov's place of residence. Investigators found Aristov's passport, which showed stamps from the Maldives immigration service on July 14 and July 21.

According to the State Investigation Bureau, he is being investigated for forgery, which can carry a sentence of up to three years in prison.

David Arakhamia, head of the Servant of the People's faction in parliament, said on July 25 that he would demand stripping Aristov of his mandate if the information on his trip is confirmed. Aristov later filed a motion to resign as a member of parliament, and the Verkhona Rada is expected to consider it.

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