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Belarus grants refugee status to ex-defense minister of Ukraine

Yezhel is accused of the embezzlement of $1.6 million of state funds
12:01, 18 July 2018

Open source

Belarus has granted a refugee status to a former defense minister of Ukraine Mykhailo Yezhel accused of the embezzlement of $1.6 million of state funds as Ukrainian News reported.

The Prosecutor General’s Office filed a request for the consideration of the ex-minister case in the order of special court proceeding (in absentia).

The prosecution accused Yezhel that he misused his position despite the interests of the service for the interests of the third party during the period of time since April 29, 2011, until February 8, 2012.

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In the result of the orders given by him since April 2011 until March 2012, the utilities and energy consumed by “Artek Soyuz”, “Ukrprodakord”, “Leading food company VS”, “Optukrprom-VR” were paid during the provision of the food service for the personnel of the Armed Forces of Ukraine at the cost of the state funds without any compensations totaling $1, 628 that inflicted the material damage to the state.

Yezhel did not plead guilty during the questioning.

The prosecutor noted that the defendant occupied the position of the Ukrainian Ambassador to Belarus since April 2013 until May 2015, however, he did not return to the homeland after the end of the cadence.

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At the same time, according to the number of the letters sent to the body of the pretrial investigation by the Foreign Ministry, since August 10, 2014, the ex-minister and ambassador was cured at the Main Military Medical Center of the Armed Forces of Belarus and cannot come to Ukraine for the holding of the investigative actions.

“However, the prosecution established that Yezhel actively participated in the official events and held the meetings with the delegations coming to take part in the sessions of the task groups of the Trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine,” the decision of the court said.

The mentioned facts doubt the real health state of the suspect and can show the possible simulation of the disease by him aiming to avoid the bodies of the pretrial investigation. Moreover, according to the Foreign Intelligence Service of Ukraine, the ex-ambassador continues to use the diplomatic privileges and immunity.

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Also, Yezhel reported to the Chief Military Prosecutor’s Office in the letter on May 16, 2015, that he will not return to Ukraine due to the threat to his life and absence of the guarantees of his family’s safety.

Moreover, in April 2016, the suspect appealed to the prosecutor of the Chief Military Prosecutor’s Office of the Prosecutor General’s Office with a request to close the criminal proceeding due to the lack of evidence and in the letter he reported on his residence’s place (Belarus, Minsk region, Ratomka village, Sportyvna Street, number 26A, apartment 55).

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According to the note of the Chief Department of Military Counterintelligence dated May 16, 2017, Yezhel is provided the refugee status in Belarus and according to the operative data, he lives in Minsk with his family where he rents the apartment.

He was put on the wanted list by the Ukrainian law enforcers.

The court agreed with the conclusions of the prosecutor’s office and decided to begin the trial in absentia against Yezhel.

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