Swiss indict Ukrainian politician over suspected money-laundering 

The OAG is based in the Swiss capital, Bern © Keystone / Anthony Anex

The Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland (OAG) has filed an indictment against Ukrainian former lawmaker Mykola Martynenko and a second, unnamed, Ukrainian national over the suspected money-laundering of around €2.8 million (CHF3 million). 

This content was published on December 20, 2019 - 11:49
OAG/AFP/ilj

The OAG said on Friday that the indictment had been filed with the Swiss Federal Criminal Court in Bellinzona against Martynenko and an unnamed Ukrainian citizen. 

“They are accused as part of a criminal group of having laundered around €2.8 million (CHF3 million) through the Swiss financial system,” the statement said. 

The indictment alleges that, as part of a criminal group, the accused thwarted the seizure of “feloniously obtained assets” by using the funds held in Swiss bank accounts to make purchases and investments in Switzerland and abroad. 

According to the statement, Martynenko is alleged to have arranged for these accounts to be opened in preparation for the money-laundering offence via an offshore company in Panama. 

‘Excellent cooperation’ 

“The assets that were obtained thereafter are suspected to have originated from offences committed in Ukraine and the Czech Republic. These alleged offences are currently the subject of criminal investigations by the Ukrainian and Czech authorities,” continued the OAG. 

It is suspected that commission payments were “unlawfully made by SKODA JS, a Czech supplier of components for nuclear power stations. Skoda JS is believed to have paid the commission into the bank accounts previously opened in Switzerland by Mykola Martynenko’s offshore company in return for the award of contracts to supply components to NAEK ENERGOATOM, the state operator of nuclear power stations in Ukraine,” the statement explained. 

The OAG added that it would have been impossible to bring the present indictment “without excellent cooperation from the Ukrainian and Czech prosecution authorities”. It will announce the penalties it is proposing at the main hearing before the Federal Criminal Court. No date has been given for this.  

“The presumption of innocence applies until a legally binding judgment has been issued,” it stated. 

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