Kotvitskyi Case: GPU Requests Prime Minister to Investigate Avakov Action
Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko requested the Prime Minister to initiate internal investigation with regard to Interior Minister Arsen Avakov’s failure to report his conflict of interest when the Ministry investigated the case of Avakov’s business partner Igor Kotvitskyi. It was noted in GPU’s response to the request of the Anti-Corruption Action Center.
The GPU informed that the Special Anti-corruption Prosecutor’s Office (SAP) was responsible for investigation of the illegal enrichment of the MP Igor Kotvitskyi since December 31, 2015. This case was united with another one which was investigated by the Interior Ministry.
The law entails liability of officials for failure to report "his/her conflict of interest and for taking action or decision-making in a situation of the conflict of interest," the GPU noted.
SAP has no information about Avakov’s pressure on the investigation, therefore, no administrative charge against him can be made. "At the same time, considering the close ties between Arsen Avakov and Igor Kotvitskyi, Minister’s awareness about the criminal case against Kotvitskyi and his ability to influence on it, there was a potential conflict of interest in the police investigation of this case," the GPU stressed.
According to the law, Avakov had to report the conflict of interest not later than on the next day after he learned or was able to learn about it. In particular, he had to report it by November 10, 2015, but he never did.
Now, the Prosecutor General’s Office wants to initiate internal investigation against Avakov to identify why he failed to report his conflict of interest. The GPU reminds that "the criminal, administrative, civil and disciplinary responsibility may be established for corruption-related offences."
NABU is currently investigating the withdrawal of $40 million from Ukraine by People’s Front MP Igor Kotvitskyi. The court provided NABU access to a number of accounts and banking documents in this case.
Kotvitskyi is known to be an associate and business partner of the Interior Minister Arsen Avakov. The latter asserts that the MP legally withdrew $40 million from Ukraine.
Source: Ukrayinska Pravda