Defense Attorney Igor Fomin: “Kolobov went to polygraph and proved he had not committed any crimes”
The attorney explained why criminal proceedings against ex Minister of Finance were ceased.
On February 28, the decision of Pecherskyi District Court came into force where the judge Vladimir Karaban ruled to cease criminal case against ex Minister of Finance of Yanukovuch presidentship period Yuriy Kolobov.
It says that Ukrainian law enforcement officers exhausted claims against ex- officer because of expiry of time limit for arraignment. At the end of investigation, lasting about four years, the Attorney General’s Office reclassified charges against Kolobov from embezzlement and misappropriation of state funds to breach of duty.
“Strana” has already written about the evaluation and comments to the decision on “Kolobov’s case” including from GPU side (Attorney General’s Office). Igor Fomin, Yuriy Kolobov’s defense attorney, came in contact with editors office after this material appeared. The defense attorney provided his version of the story of criminal proceedings against his client and its unexpected ending.
- How many criminal cases was Kolobov defendant in and is he planning to come back to Ukraine after the delivery of such landmark decision of Pecherskiy District Court?
-I’m his defense attorney in all cases. The only case Yuriy Kolobov was served with criminal charges is the so-called case of Ukrtelecom. Currently, there are no other criminal cases against him in any country of the world. He is completely free in his movements around the world. He has been residing on the territory of Spain for four years already. As far as I know, he is not going to change the domicile.
- Was the story with alleged abuse of office, about which SBU claimed in September 2014, among criminal charges against your client? I’m referring to so-called “Yanukovych’s debt”, i.e. the story with issuance and placement of OVGZ (domestic government loan placement) on the amount of $3 billion, bought out by National Wealth Fund of RF (the Russian Federation)?
-There were talks and articles in media by persons totally unaware of the stated above operations. There were no criminal proceedings and they are impossible. For understanding, securities with certain liquidity were sold by the State of Ukraine on Irish stock market. The money was accrued to Ukrainian budget. All talks around this topic are no more than amateur PR event. The issuance of securities was performed and controlled by stock market licensed non-resident under the norms of International Law. Any abuses in such operations are initially impossible. As I know, Ukraine didn’t manage to win the process in London against Russia, what is not made public.
- Some media connected your client with the activity of Bank ¾, i.e. in performance of operations with obligations, which, according to the investigation version, could be shell and be the sign of money laundering. I mean criminal proceedings № 12014100000000893, № 12015100070004618 и №42016000000002914. Was Kolobov examined on these proceedings and does he or you know anything about the story with so-called “special confiscation of Yanukovych’s common cash fund” in the amount of $200 m performed under the decision of Cherkassy Sosnovskyi District Court in August-September 2017?
-My client has nothing to do with this bank. There were no investigations on it as well as any status. I wasn’t honored to be present in Sosnovskyi District Court, and I don’t know what they pass there. As an attorney, I think it’s one more PR nonsense. It’s my personal point of view. The mentioned numbers of proceedings aren’t connected with us. Concluding the agreement I requested officially the Prosecution Office about claims against Yuriy Kolobov. I remember it clearly, there was an official answer stating the only problem Ukrtelecom, there were no other criminal proceedings.
- What’s the subject matter of Ukrtelecom case?
- The subject matter is simple. There is the position of the prosecutor and investigator that UAH 220 m given from the budget for the building of the secret network line should have been paid by the investor, who bought Ukrtelecom, and not the State of Ukraine. At the same time, there are no claims against investor, who allegedly benefitted. I find this position of prosecution pointless and dead-end.
- According to mass media, Kolobov left the territory of Ukraine in August 2014. Does it mean there were no charges and suspicions to him from the part of law enforcement agencies of Ukraine in the form of being served with notice of suspect till this period?
- At the time of moving for domicile in Spain there were no proceedings, charges and restrictions against Yuriy Kolobov.
- Under what circumstances was Kolobov arrested on the territory of Spain in 2015?
-Yuriy Kolobov was included into international wanted list by Ukraine and arrested under the order of Interpol in the Kingdom of Spain where he resided permanently. He lived openly and publicly, took part in amateur basketball league competition of Spain from his town.
- Where was Kolobov after the arrest in Spain? Why were the law enforcement agencies of Ukraine refused in his extradition?
- After the arrest, the client was detained by the Kingdom of Spain in prison near Madrid. As to refusal in extradition, it was caused by inconsistency of legal proceedings. Later on, relevant authority of Spain made sure he was persecuted on political motives, and Yuriy Kolobov was granted political asylum.
- There was a rather strange story in “Kolobov’s case” with “fake letter” by Attorney General’s deputy Yuriy Stoliarchuk pointing that ex Minister of Finance is the witness in the case and not the defendant. Do you know its author? How did the Kolobov’s defense get this letter and why did GPU called it fake?
- The story is the following. We have the criminal proceedings under which Yuriy Kolobov was included into wanted list (seems to me, the last numbers are 90). Later the criminal proceeding against him was separated and it has another number ending with 518. Yuriy Kolobov is in prison in Madrid at this time. Spanish attorneys provide him with the reference from Attorney General’s Office stating that he is a witness in proceeding №90. The same reference by the same attorneys was sent to National Court of Spain.
Later, Attorney General’s Office announces that the Attorney General’s Deputy Stolyarkchuk’s signature is fabricated. Yuriy Kolobov’s decision to change attorneys and my later participation in the process is connected with this crooked story. I think it was either the special operation aiming at defaming him before Spanish court, or a low quality fraud. Neither law enforcement officers of Ukraine nor law enforcement officers of Spain have any complaints on this “letter”. The court also reacted to this provocation and passed the decision to refuse extradition.
- Why did Attorney General’s Office rather suddenly come to decision on reclassification and closure of the criminal case resulting in the decision by Kyiv Pecherskiy District Court on February 21 after 4 years of investigation?
- Kyiv Pecherskyi District Court passed several decisions on inconsistency of charges against Yuriy Kolobov. At a later stage the prosecution addressed to the same court demanding the trial in absentia against him. The court refused referring to the inconsistency of the charges. But Attorney General’s Office addressed to the Court of Appeal and it passed frankly illegal decision allowing trial in absentia. At the same time GPU ignored the law sending letters for Kolobov to the place of previous residence in Dnepropetrovsk region fully aware that he was residing in Spain (the defense provided documents on Kolobov’s detention and National Court of Spain decision to refuse extradition as well as documents proving residence and residence registration of Kolobov and his family in Spain).
Then we decided that Yuriy Kolobov had to be served with the notice of suspect officially in Spain. He gave his consent to this investigative action and examination by signing relevant pleading and notarizing it. The prosecution could not ignore it. Later we arrived at the Embassy of Ukraine in Madrid. The notice of suspect was served there and the defendant was examined. Yuriy Kolobov pleaded not guilty during examination. Also he gave the consent to performance of psychological expertize in court using polygraph (“lie detector”). The defense addressed to the prosecutor with such pleading. The prosecution refused. Then we went to court realizing our right to individual gathering of evidence. The court commissioned an expert assessment in KNIISE. The expertize was performed by an expert in the consulate office in Barcelona within territorial circuit of Kolobov’s residence.
Conclusions of expert psychologist were definitive: Yuriy Kolobov did not commit any intentional crimes either by himself or in group. Then the Prosecution reclassified his actions into breach of duty. The terms of arraignment on this part expired.
The Prosecution provided relevant pleading to court and the latter closed the case.
In terms of political and legal atmosphere in Ukraine such development is satisfactory for the defense.
- Was Kolobov the witness in criminal proceedings related to ex-President Viktor Yanukovych or any other high-rank officials; did he make any bargains with the investigation within these cases?
- Yuriy Kolobov didn’t witness in any criminal proceedings and didn’t testify against third persons and didn’t make any bargains with the investigation.
- After the decision on closure of the case against Kolobov went public, there were opinions of those who called this decision some kind of “fixed game” between the authority and ex-minister. Did you or your client have any propositions on such kind of fixing-up?
- I didn’t.
- Does your client find himself guilty of breach of duty incriminated to him on the final stage of investigation of “Ukrtelecom case”? How, to your and his point of view, events unfolded with the building of telecommunication system for state money serving as the basis for criminal case initiation?
- My client doesn’t find himself guilty in any crimes. He is satisfied with a longstanding saga of illegal criminal prosecution. As I have two more defendants on this case I will not specificate the position of defense. It’s early. I’d like to say only that criminal proceeding is illegal. To my point of view, the criminal case doesn’t have any court perspective in such state.