PGO and Former U.S. Deputy Assistant Attorney General John Buretta Confirm That All Cases Against Burisma Group and Zlochevskyi Are Closed

February 3, 2017

Former U.S. Deputy Assistant Attorney General recalled that Zlochevskyi became one of the few officials of the former government who voluntarily subjected himself to the investigation in Ukraine.

Former U.S. Deputy Assistant Attorney General and current U.S. attorney John Buretta confirmed that all cases against Burisma Group and its President Nikolay Zlochevskyi were closed, as stated in an interview to the news agency “Ukrainian News”.

According to Mr. Buretta, it was important to close all cases against Burisma and Zlochevskyi in a legally sound manner. Buretta urges everyone to follow the law. “When the law and evidence dictate the result, as it did before the U.K. Central Criminal Court, the rule of law flourishes”, noted the Attorney.

Former U.S. Deputy Assistant Attorney General recalled that Zlochevskyi became one of the few officials of the former government who voluntarily subjected himself to the investigation in Ukraine. After reviewing the evidence in London and Kiev, the criminal proceedings against Mr. Zlochevskyi were dismissed.

“The U.K. Central Criminal Court held a formal hearing during December 3-5, 2014, and considered voluminous evidence presented by the U.K. Serious Fraud Office (SFO) and by Mr. Zlochevskyi. The evidence included thousands of pages of material produced by Ukrainian authorities at the request of the SFO, relevant documents produced by financial institutions, and affidavits and a large volume of documents produced on behalf of Mr. Zlochevskyi”, added John Buretta.

According to Mr Buretta, in January 2015, the U.K. Central Criminal Court, in a lengthy written decision, concluded that there was no reasonable cause to believe that Mr. Zlochevskyi’s assets were unlawfully acquired as a result of misconduct while he served in public office. “In August 2014, the Office of the Prosecutor General (PGO) opened a criminal proceeding as to the same matters adjudicated by the U.K. Central Criminal Court. Mr. Zlochevskyi produced voluminous materials addressing the allegations, as he had before the U.K. Central Criminal Court. Over the two years the PGO matter was open, no evidence was presented supporting any claim that Mr. Zlochevskyi had abused his position while in public office. In September 2016, the Pechersk District Court of the City of Kyiv concluded that no criminal procedures should be taken against Mr. Zlochevskyi. In other words, the Pechersk District Court reached the same conclusion as the U.K. Central Criminal Court”, admitted Mr. Buretta.  

Former U.S. Deputy Assistant Attorney General believes that regardless of the country, it is important that prosecutors follow the law and the evidence. The PGO has officially announced that all criminal proceedings against the President of Burisma Group Nikolay Zlochevskyi and the Energy Service Company “ESCO-Pivnich” (Burisma’s company) were dismissed, as stated in the PGO’s report published at the official website.

“According to the results of a pre-trial investigation within criminal proceedings… there were found no violations of tax legislation with regard to the full and timely tax payments to the state budget by Nikolay Zlochevskyi over the relevant period, which was proved by the documentary unscheduled inspections carried out by the State Tax Inspectorate of Shevchenkivskyi District of the Head Office of the State Fiscal Service of Ukraine in Kyiv “, as stated in the report.

The PGO specified that the findings on the lack of tax violations by Zlochevskyi showed that the Ukrainian court decision is fully consistent with the decision taken by the U.K. court on January 21, 2015 and expert’s opinion based on the results of forensic and economic expertise, dated February 6, 2015. Moreover, as a result of the investigation, Burisma Group filly paid UAH 180 million of outstanding tax liabilities.

“As a result of investigation, the PGO managed to receive compensation of the largest amount of money over the entire period of Ukraine’s independence.  An unprecedented fee amounting to UAH 180 million was paid to the state budget. We need more real money to be paid back to the state!”, commented Lutsenko’s press secretary Larysa Sargan on her facebook page.

Larysa Sargan’s comment:

Briefly and officially: the Prosecutor General’s Office carried out an investigation within criminal proceedings on suspicion against “ESCO-Pivnich” officers on illicit enrichment and taxes underrating.

As a result of the investigation and additional unscheduled inspections of the company, there was established the fact of tax evasion. Within the pre-trial investigation it was found violation of tax legislation by the Burisma Group companies, whose ultimate beneficiary is Nikolay Zlochevskyi.

The court exempted him from criminal prosecution, as outstanding taxes, fines and fees were paid in full to the state budget. The criminal proceedings were closed at the beginning of November.

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Now once again, but in an emotional manner.

As a result of investigation, the PGO managed to receive compensation of the largest amount of money over the entire period of Ukraine’s independence. An unprecedented fee amounting to UAH 180 million was paid to the state budget. We need more real money to be paid back to the state!