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Akhmetov under the Prosecutor’s gaze

January 30, 2015

A short entry today, but one which will answer a few emailed questions – at least in part – relating to Rinat Akhmetov, and rumours surrounding his sponsoring of, or aiding and abetting of, the anti-Kyiv forces in eastern Ukraine.

Current investigations are centering around coal.

Firstly, there is the question of the mines wholly owned by his companies in eastern Ukraine that fall within the territories currently occupied by Russian troops, separatists, the Orthodox jihadists, mercenaries, warlords, cossacks and assorted armed organised criminal groups.  Some of these mines are still producing, and it is no secret that at least some of the coal they have produced has made its way to Russia.  The major question relating to this is whether it has been mined and thereafter sold to Russia by Akhmetov’s mining interests, or whether it has been stolen and taken without his consent or reimbursement.

Secondly, there is the question of whether the miners that work, or worked, for Akhmetov’s companies and then sided with those that are anti-Kyiv (whatever their motivation from the list above) are still being paid – and whether paying them is directly, or indirectly, in part funding certain anti-Kyiv forces.

The situation, currently, is that the Prosecutor General’s Office has questioned Mr Akhmetov, and both he and his DTEK company that own the mines in question, deny continuing to pay miners that have sided with anti-Kyiv forces, and therefore deny directly or indirectly – and certainly knowingly – funding any such group(s).  Should any evidence be found, it would be reasonable to expect Article 258-3 of the Criminal Code (funding terrorism) to be applied.

The investigations are continuing – though whether a case is there to be made – or not – is a different matter.

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