Lawyers for Ukraine's former income and tax minister and leader of the Successful Ukraine political party Oleksandr Klymenko claim he is not a suspect and all actions by state investigators involving him as a suspect are illegal.
"Until today Oleksandr Klymenko has not been named as a suspect," Tetiana Zhukovska said at a press conference in Kyiv.
She said declarations made by Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko about investigating criminal cases against Klymenko involving losses of UAH 198 billion are groundless.
Zhukovska said that Klymenko's lawyers know about two criminal cases against Klymenko, but they do not mention losses, allegedly incurred by Klymenko, as stated by Lutsenko.
According to the lawyer, in one criminal investigation, Klymenko is suspected of misusing public office and incurring a loss to the state through unpaid taxes to the budget in the amount of UAH 126 million. In the other case, Klymenko is suspected of embezzling UAH 616 million in value added tax (VAT) compensation via a commercial entity (both cases have been open since 2014).
"In connection with these confusing statements and these amounts, and if Lutsenko continues to make unfounded statements, then we, Klymenko's lawyers, will appeal to Ukrainian courts to defend his honour and business reputation," Klymenko's lawyer Olena Klymenko said.
Lutsenko earlier said that the sum of losses incurred by the activities of companies affiliated with Klymenko and businessman Serhiy Kurchenko amounted to UAH 198 billion
Kyiv's Pechersk District Court on August 19 has not permitted Ukrainian Prosecutor General's Office to start the investigation in absentia
against former Income and Tax Minister Oleksandr Klymenko.