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November 1, the former head of the State Investment agency, Vladyslav Kaskiv, was extradited from Panama to Ukraine, who is suspected of grabbing state budget funds on an especially large amount.
This is the first case of extradition of an official of the times of Yanukovych, who fled the country because he was announced for international search of his deeds.
Pechersk District Court of Kyiv immediately arrested the ex-official for two months with the alternative of making a pledge of 6 thousand USD, and also ordered to hand over all available foreign passports, to appear on the first request to the investigator and report their whereabouts.
According to the Prosecutor General's Office, the decision was taken because the defense of Kaskiv has provided the court with a certificate of full compensation for losses incurred by the state. "Given this, as well as the presence of five underage children, the court decided to take him into custody for a period of two months with an alternative to making a pledge," explained the spokesman of Prosecutor General Larysa Sargan.
Kaskiv was released from the courtroom, but, according to the prosecutor's office, if he does not deposit the bail for five days, he will be arrested again.
For more than a year, Ukrainian side discussed with Panama Kaskiv's extradition - an ex-official was detained at the border by local law enforcement officers in August 2016 after he tried to leave for Costa Rica.
In Ukraine, he was put on the wanted list on suspicion of embezzlement of public funds in 2012-2013. Ukraine’s Minister of Internal Affairs Arsen Avakov reported that Kaskiv signed a contract to provide advertising services (as it turned out - fictitious) with Gloria firm for 288 thousand USD. However, they suspect him of a number of frauds.
Vladyslav Kaskiv was born on December 1, 1973 in Ternopil region. He studied at the Faculty of History of Chernivtsi State University, from which, in his own words, he was expelled for political reasons - for taking part in the student strike movement. In 1997, he graduated from the History Department of Kyiv Pedagogical University named after Dragomanov.
In 2004, Kaskiv led the Coordination Center of the PORA civil campaign, which took an active part in the Orange Revolution. About a year, he was a freelance adviser to President Yushchenko.
In the early parliamentary elections in 2007, he received the mandate of the People's Deputy on the list of the bloc Our Ukraine - People's Self-Defense. He was the head of the Subcommittee on Investment and Development of the Parliamentary Committee on Industrial and Regulatory Policy and Entrepreneurship.
In 2009-2010, worked as an adviser to the Prime Minister of Ukraine Yulia Tymoshenko on foreign investment.
In 2010, he graduated from the National Academy of Public Administration under the President of Ukraine and received a Master's degree in Public Management. After that, he led the working group on national projects of the Committee on Economic Reforms under President Yanukovych. From December 23, 2010 to March 15, 2014 Kaskiv was chairman of the State Agency for Investments and Management of National Projects of Ukraine.
In 2012, State Agency for Investments the planned to create a ski resort on the Borzhavsky ridge before Winter Olympics 2022. The state had to build the infrastructural facilities, and the private investor - sports and tourist facilities. Journalists found that the land on which it was planned to create a resort belonged to Kaskiv's cousin Olexander Matkovsky. In addition, it turned out that the brother of the head of the State Agency, Olexander Kaskiv, is the founder of LLC BorzhavaSki, which owns a tourist facility in Pylypets.
Premises owned by the brothers of Kaskiv were searched, and 40 thousand dollars were seized from their safe. The court arrested these funds.
Another scandal associated with Kaskiv is the construction of an LNG-terminal with the Spanish company Gas Natural Fenosa. In November 2012, Ukraine (in the face of Kaskiv) signed an agreement with the Spanish company Gas Natural SDG, SA on cooperation in the construction of an LNG terminal. The document was signed by Jordi Sarda Bonvehi, who, according to media reports, did not work for Gas Natural, but was a commercial representative and ski instructor.
Later Gas Natural Fenosa reported that it had not decided to participate in the consortium for the construction of the LNG terminal, and that Bonvehi signed the agreement, exceeding the authority.
Another project was worth 14 million USD - the construction of an air express, which was supposed to connect the airport Borispol and Kyiv. In 2013, the Export-Import Bank of China opened a credit line for construction, but it never began. Law enforcers found out that in the framework of this project land was purchased at an inflated price, and funds were placed on the accounts of an enterprise that had signs of fictitiousness and a bankrupt bank.
After dismissal in March 2014, Kaskiv, according to journalists, continued to hold meetings and influence the agency's activities. Later it became known that he went to Austria.
In total, according to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Kaskiv and his department caused damage to the state for the amount of about 87 million USD, he brought to the Latvian accounts of Cypriot companies.
Kaskiv himself denied all charges, stating that, as head of the State Project, he did not spend a single cent for other purposes. He noted that in general, the agency's budget for the years of its existence was about 38 million USD.
In January 2016, Kaskiv, along with a number of other officials of the times of Yanukovych, were deprived of the diplomatic passport.
August 18, 2016, Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko announced the detention of Kaskiv in Panama. Some time later, the Prosecutor General's Office announced that they had transferred documents to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the extradition of Kaskiv.
In turn, Kaskiv said that he was not detained or arrested. He also said that he does not have an Interpol card. Prosecutor General also said that Kaskiv still is in the base of Interpol's search and was "stopped on the border with Costa Rica after August 17, 2016."
September 8 of the same year, it became known that Panama had allowed Kaskiv's temporary arrest, and a hearing of his case would take place within 48 hours after the arrest.
Kaskiv asked Panama for political asylum, and his extradition in a shortened procedure became impossible.
In March 2017, Panama officially denied Ukrainian ex-official the status of political refugee.