The Investigation Department of the Fiscal Service of Kyiv instituted criminal proceedings against the heads of the NGO Anti-Corruption Action Centre (AntAC).
As reported by the organization, this is stated in the response of tax authorities to the request of the lawyer, who is representing the interests of the AntAC.
As it turned out, the investigation is lasting for two months already – since June 9, 2017.
“After consideration of the letter, dated 11.07.2017 we would like to inform that the criminal proceeding No32017000000000081 was added to the Unified Register of Pre-trial Investigations by the Department of Financial Investigations of the Main Department of the State Fiscal Service in Kyiv on 09.06.2017, according to the third-party appeal”, - as stated in the document, which is at the disposal of the AntAC.
Olena Scherban, lawyer and AntAC Board member, noted that the Tax officials have not mentioned neither the Article of the Criminal Code, nor the grounds for initiating a criminal case, nor claims to the AntAC.
“This fact shows that the tax authorities are now actively searching for damaging information on us and started a criminal case in advance, and now they will look for other accusations. They will be getting access to our documents, using seizures, searches and wiretap our management, etc.”, - Scherban summed up.
Anti-Corruption Action Centre considers the start of a criminal proceeding by the Tax Police as continued pressure on the organization and step up of the attempts to block its functioning.
“This is a consistent continuation of the campaign against us, and the main goal is the destruction of the organization. Most likely, the “third party” who filed an appeal, according to which fiscal authorities started a new case, is former assistant of Mykola Martynenko, MP Pavlo Pynzenyk”, - said Vitaliy Shabunin, Head of the Board of the AntAC.
Shabunin also reminded that it was Pynzenyk who has threatened the AntAC with deprivation of non-profit status. “His accusations are so absurd and groundless that even Fiscal Service officials could not qualify them according to the Criminal code. That is why their answer is very vague. In fact, they have nothing to say in regard to our accusations after two months of investigation. Because There are no violations from our side, and there never have been”, - Shabunin explained.
As a reminder, on April 9 a picket took place near the house of Vitaliy Shabunin, Head of the Board of the Anti-Corruption Action Centre. Activist accuses the SBU in the organization of a picket.
According to Shabunin, Roman Matkovskiy, Head of the SBU department for the protection of national statehood, is the executor of this picket.
The Anti-Corruption Action Centre considers the picket to be linked with a lawsuit against the SBU. The activists of the organization publicly demand the disclosure of e-declarations of employees of the Security Service of Ukraine. The SBU leadership declared the information on the status of its employees as a state secret. They believe that the disclosure of such information may inflict irreparable damage to.
The SBU has initially refuted its involvement in the rally, but in early June, the Security Service of Ukraine reported that it had suspended from duty an employee who has participated in the rally at the house of anti-corruption activist Vitaliy Shabunin on April 9.
On April 12, human rights defender Olexandra Matviychuk stated that a campaign purposefully focused on discrediting public activists, who are counteracting corruption in various areas, is taking place in Ukraine.
On May 12, Alexandra Ustinova, who works at the Anti-Corruption Action Centre, claimed the she and her house are being watched by persons who, on request of the SBU, are filming a video about her with the aim of defamation.
On May 23, Pavlo Pynzenyk, People Deputy from the People’s Front political party, stated that he will request to investigate the activities of the NGO Anti-Corruption Action Centre regarding money laundering.
On June 7, Shabunin was summoned to the military enlistment office, although he has been declared unfit for military service. After Shabunin visited the military enlistment office, Vsevolod Filimonenko sprayed him with a pepper spray on the street.
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