Ukraine claims Yanukovich and top officials funneled $32 bln to Russia
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MOSCOW, April 29 ( RAPSI) – Ukraine’s Acting Prosecutor General Oleh Makhnitskyi said in an interview with The Financial Times that Viktor Yanukovich and his team had allegedly removed at least $32 billion to Russia, the Prosecutor General’s Office said on its website.
He claims that Russia “is officially hiding factual criminals, such as Yanukovich, Pshonka and Zakharchenko, without acknowledging their guilt. Russian Prosecutor General Chaika publicly stated that Russia will not extradite them.”
Chaika earlier said that Yanukovich is the legitimate president of Ukraine and there are no grounds for his extradition.
“All countries are cooperating with Ukraine, except for Russia. According to the latest data, a minimum of $32 billion was exported to Russia alone,” said Makhnitskyi.
According to him, the requests for help in recovering the money were responded to by Austria, Liechtenstein and Switzerland. The Ukrainian Prosecutor General’s Office has initiated several criminal cases against these officials.
However, there is no interview with Makhnitskyi on the FT website.
The US State Department said in mid-March that the Untied States had sent a group of officials from the FBI, the Department of Justice and the Department of the Treasury to Ukraine “to provide strategic advice and capacity building to locate the proceeds of corruption looted by former officials.” Washington has also decided to convene a multilateral meeting, to be attended by Ukrainian officials, in London on April 29-30.
On February 22, Ukraine's Verkhovna Rada (parliament) impeached Viktor Yanukovich and amended the constitution. Presidential authority was assigned to parliament speaker Oleksandr Turchynov and a presidential election was scheduled for May 25.
Russia has denounced the events in Ukraine as an armed coup. President Vladimir Putin said during a news conference in March that Yanukovich remains Ukraine’s legitimate president.
Yanukovich said earlier at a press conference that he was forced to leave Ukraine under a threat to his life.