Ex-official in Zelensky’s office charged with graft

Ukraine president says 'not the time' for elections
Source: Video Screenshot

The former deputy head of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s office has been charged with making illicit gains worth almost $400,000, Ukraine’s anti-graft watchdog said Wednesday.

The suspect, whom Ukrainian media identified as Andriy Smyrnov, is accused of purchasing property, land and luxury vehicles with the funds, the origin of which was not clear.

“We are talking about two cars, Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen, two motorcycles, Honda and BMW, three parking spaces in Kyiv, an apartment in Lviv and a land plot in Zakarpattia,” the National Anti-Corruption Bureau said.

“In order to hide the existence of this property, the official transferred the majority of it to his brother, retaining the right to dispose of it in full,” it said.

The suspect faces five to 10 years in prison if found guilty.

Ukraine, which had severe corruption problems even before Russia’s 2022 invasion, has pledged to bolster efforts to combat graft as it seeks EU membership and to reassure its Western military backers.

Smyrnov was sacked in March.

Zelensky rose to power on a platform of ending corruption, firing a number of officials including his defence minister last year over graft scandals in the army.

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