German court refused Onishchenko’s extradition to Ukraine

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German court refused Onishchenko's extradition to Ukraine

German court refused Onishchenko’s extradition to Ukraine

05/27.2020 17:37

Ukrinform

In Germany, the judges of the Upper Land Court in Oldenburg refused to extradite the suspect to Ukraine by creating bribery schemes for former Verkhovna Rada MP Alexander Onishchenko.

The decision was made on Wednesday May 27, according to DW.

“Due to the lack of an adequate detention guarantee in a Ukrainian prison, the judges did not respond to the prosecutor’s request to extradite former deputy Alexander Onishchenko, suspected of creating bribery schemes,” said the publication.

As indicated in the explanation of the court decision, “there is a high probability” that, if Onishchenko is extradited, “the minimum standards of international law concerning conditions of detention”, including the European Convention on Human Rights man, will not be respected. Extradition is therefore unacceptable.

DW reports that a court had previously asked the Ukrainian authorities to provide a “detailed description” of the conditions of detention Onishchenko could count on in a remand center in Kiev. However, the Ukrainian side informed the German court “only in general terms” that international standards would be met. Such assurances to the Oldenburg judges were not sufficient.

See also: the Onishchenko “gas case” court has already examined 10 volumes of evidence

Arguing their decision, the judges referred to the report of the Council of Europe (EC), which was based on a visit to the prisons of Ukraine which had been collected during the 2017 and 2018 experts of the European Committee for Prevention torture. In a report published after that, the commission’s experts stressed “inhuman conditions of prisoners who degrade human dignity,” the court’s website said in a statement.

Only the judges of the Upper Land Court of Oldenburg canceled Onishchenko’s arrest warrant.

As reported by Ukrinform, on May 13, WAKS began to reflect on the essence of “gas activity”, in which Alexander Onishchenko appears. In Ukraine, the former deputy is suspected of having organized a theft program for the extraction and sale of natural gas under agreements on joint activities with PJSC Ukrgasvydobuvannya.

The former deputy of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, Alexander Onishchenko, fled Ukraine in the summer of 2016. He is accused of having created a criminal organization, the members of which from January 2013 to June 2016 illegally earned more of 1.6 billion UAH on the sale of natural gas.

As a result of these actions, the PJSC “Ukrgasvydobuvannya” (100% of the shares belong to the state-owned company NJSC Naftogaz Ukrainy) caused damage in the amount of more than UA 740 million.

See also: Due to “absenteeism”, Onishchenko’s defenders will appoint a free lawyer

In general, the investigation established that 29 people were involved in the participation in the “gas scheme”. Among them – two people who acted as organizers, the others – PJSC “Ukrgasdobycha” employees, a lawyer, financiers, business leaders, etc.

Eight suspects pleaded guilty and entered guilty pleas during the preliminary inquiry. An investigation into the role of 12 other people was also completed, and charges were laid against them. Seven suspects, including Onishchenko, are wanted.

At the same time, on December 3, 2019, it became known that Onishchenko was arrested in Germany on November 29 at the request of the Ukrainian law enforcement authorities.

On February 11, 2020, Onishchenko’s lawyer said that the former deputy had asked Germany for political asylum.

According to the materials: ukrinform.ru

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