For Whom Agent Catherine Had Rung The Bell?

Prosecutor General’s Office accidentally clears an MP of corruption charges.

New scandalous details have appeared around the claim brought up by the Prosecutor General’s Office (PGO) against MP Maksym Polyakov. As you may already know, the parliamentary committee considering this issue pointed to instability of the PGO’s position. Polyakov himself pointed to a frame-up, asserting that the Prosecutor General of Ukraine Yuriy Lutsenko, while substantiating suspicions against the MP of corruption and lobbyism, hid fragments of records of Polyakov’s conversations with an agent of the anticorruption agency, during which Polyakov directly pointed that he opposed ‘paid services’ of lobbying interests of a mysterious company, while a NABU employee Kateryna Syvokon introduced herself as the company’s employee.

The parliament, however, still gave PGO permission to prosecute Polyakov. The official suspicion was delivered to the MP immediately after that. The document (suspicion) was clearly drafted very urgently, which is why its authors made an error, almost directly confirming innocence of the suspect. Specifically, the notice of suspicion contains a link to the record of conversation between Polyakov, his assistant and ‘agent Kateryna’ that took place November 17, 2016. The prosecutors state that this record contains Polyakov’s demand to transfer the money for him and MP Rozenblat in exchange for their lobbying the interests of Fudzheira Company (introduction of lobbyist bills by the MPs).

However, an official transcript of the said conversation, found in open access, provides a clear understanding that the PGO fully twisted the content of the dialog. In truth, ‘agent Kateryna’ is trying to provoke Polyakov, complaining to him about Rozenblat’s lack of commitment, claiming that he allegedly received USD 11,000 for the required amendments to the bill, but failed to deliver on his promise. In the course of the conversation, Polyakov is trying to convince the provocateur, who introduced herself as an employee of Fudzheira Company, of the impropriety and futility of attempts to solve issues with bribes. Polyakov argues that the company feeds Ukrainian corrupted officials, advises her to take the money back and offers legal ways of solving the issue.

At that, Polyakov turns continuous hints of ‘agent Kateryna’ on possibility of personal benefit into a joke and even directly says that he is disgusted with such practice.

For some reason, the prosecutors, however, interpret the conversation the other way around.

Appearance of this transcript could turn out to be fatal for NABU, SAPO and PGO in court. With the general weakness of the evidential base, such biased interpretation and clear distortion of facts, written in an official document – suspicion of a criminal offense – quite reasonably turn Polyakov into a victim of political persecution. Noteworthy, the MP has accused some leaders of the anticorruption agencies of corruption on a number of occsations. So, such absurdly built accusation against him confirms a conflict of interest on the part of the prosecution.