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Ukraine ex-arms procurement chief faces trial for graft

Ukraine ex-arms procurement chief faces trial for graft
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A former Ukrainian state official faces trial after arranging to buy aeroplane parts at a price inflated seven-fold while in charge of arms imports, the country’s anti-corruption agency said on Tuesday.

The case involves the former director of Ukrspetsexport, Ukraine’s state-run defence firm which deals with export and import of arms, although it concerns the time before Russia’s 2022 invasion.

Blighted by severe corruption scandals since the fall of the Soviet Union, Kyiv has pledged to boost its anti-graft efforts as part of its bid for EU membership.

According to the National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU), in 2016 the arms chief abused his official position by entering into an agreement with a private company to buy imported altimeters at prices “deliberately inflated almost seven-fold”, NABU said.

He made the deal with a company controlled by the son of the former first deputy secretary of the National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine, NABU said, without naming either man.

NABU said the second man is already on trial for influencing decision-making at Ukrspetsexport.

Both men face accusations of organising and committing abuse of office causing losses to the state of almost 13 million hryvnias (around $450,000), NABU said.

NABU said detectives established the real price of altimeters from authorities in Hong Kong and the United Arab Emirates.

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Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.

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