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Stables, doors, and prodigal sons

May 29, 2015

Yesterday saw the Prosecutor General of Ukraine declared that former (and much loathed) Education Minister Dmitry Tabachnik was wanted on suspicion of committing offences under Part 5, Article 191, of the Criminal Code.

No surprise to anybody that followed his actions and tenure in office.

For those with a little more insight, it is known he was under investigation for a good many months for several crimes, including a pricing scam over Ukrainian school books and nefarious dealings with educational premises during his tenure – A point made in this entry of 1st March, when Mr Tabachnik flew into Kyiv from Tel Aviv for 24 hours.

Indeed the entry raised a few entirely reasonable questions about his appearance in Ukraine, as it is clear an individual with such notoriety/infamy could not simply “sneak” into Ukraine unnoticed.  The Ukrainian authorities will have known of his intended arrival if this blog knew of it and published an entry about it.

Mr Tabachnik remained in Kyiv for less than 24 hours, returning to Israel.

Whether he traveled to Ukraine on an Israeli or Ukrainian passport was irrelevant once upon Ukrainian soil.  Whether he is in Israel as a Ukrainian or Israeli citizen is now relevant however, considering the Israeli policy of extradition relating to its citizens can be far more miss than hit. “Do not deliver to his master a slave who has escaped from his master. He shall dwell in your midst with you, in the place he shall choose in one of your gates, where it is good for him; you shall not oppress him.” – Torah.

Torah aside, if Mr Tabachnik is still in Israel and has been granted Israeli citizenship, any extradition request is going to struggle – Israel really doesn’t extradite its citizens very often.

Therefore, as it is extremely unlikely that his return to Ukraine a few months ago (even if for a few hours) occurred without the consent/knowledge of Kyiv, and knowing that he was under investigation for various nefarious acts at the time of his visit, a few questions require asking.

The first, why was he not detained when in Kyiv and investigations into his nefarious activities were on-going?  Lack of sufficient evidence at the time perhaps?

The second, if investigations were on-going but were not sufficiently advanced to pursue the officially, why allow/facilitate Mr Tabachnik’s entry before the authorities were ready?

The third, as it is likely that Mr Tabachnik knew the authorities weren’t ready (for Gov UA remains an infiltrated and leaky ship), and the Ukrainian authorities knew they weren’t ready, perhaps a grubby little deal to gain testimony in return for some time to complete personal administrative tasks in Kyiv prior to retuning to Israel was made – on the understanding that once investigations had progressed sufficiently to deal with his previous nefarious acts, he would be safely entrenched in Israel with no need to return to Ukraine again, and with little chance of extradition.  Gov UA and the PGO, however, are seen to be trying to deal with the past regime of which he was a part.

The answer to this may become clearer if any public trial of former senior regime members occurs and from out of nowhere, any signed testimony from Mr Tabachnik, dated 28 February/1 March 2015 is used.  Whether any public trial of any senior former regime members ever comes to pass, let alone in which any possibly obtained Tabachnik testimony would be relevant, is perhaps a different question.

Fourth – Are the Ukrainian authorities really so incompetent as to allow Mr Tabachnik in and out of the country, only to then, two months later, declare him as wanted?

A question of stables, doors, and intent to close then in a timely fashion?

Perhaps, time will tell.

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