Former Agriculture Minister taken into custody over charges of land theft and cover-up

Mykola Solskyi
Mykola Solskyi

Ukraine’s High Anti-Corruption Court has chosen to detain Agriculture Minister Mykola Solskyi until June 24, setting his bail at 75 million UAH ($1.9 million), Suspilne reported on April 26.

Solskyi case

Ukraine's National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU) charged Solskyi with illegally appropriating government land worth UAH 291 million ($7.3 million) and attempting to appropriate another UAH 190 million ($3.8 million) in real estate.

The "criminal group" led by a top official included State Land Registry officials, as well as so-called "supervisors" who controlled the activities of these bodies, NABU noted.

The collaborators contributed to the destruction of documents that allowed two state-owned enterprises in Sumy Oblast to use the land in perpetuity. In the absence of these documents, the State Land Registry's regional branch documented the unauthorized occupation of these land plots, NABU said.

“Later, with the help of the regional State Land Registry officials, the land plots were transferred to predetermined individuals under the pretext of exercising their right to free land on condition that they sign a lease agreement with a private agricultural enterprise,” the report wrote.

The case concerns Solskyi’s activities in 2017-2018 when he worked at the Protsyk and Partners law firm, not as a minister or committee chairman.

Mykola Solskyi submitted his resignation to the Ukrainian parliament on April 25.

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine