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Criminal proceedings against Oil Transportation Institute finally closed

10.12.2019

Complainee: Kyiv City Prosecutor's Office of Kyiv (Prosecutor's Office) 

Complaint in brief: Shareholders of Oil Transportation Institute (ITN), a leading company dealing with design and maintenance of oil transportation, storage and distribution facilities, turned to the Council. The company complained against the Prosecutor’s Office violating pre-trial investigation reasonable time limits. According to the Complainant, the criminal case was deliberately delayed to extend seizure of the company's securities.  

The criminal proceedings against the complainant were imitated back in 2016 on a former company’s CEO application. According to the application, 6 years before a group of people fraudulently seized the company’s shares. At the same time, the Complainant stated the ex-CEO sold securities voluntarily, which was confirmed by contractual documents bearing his signature. It is of interest the plaintiff decided to appeal to law enforcers only after he was decided to be removed from office. Then, according to the Complainant, the ex-executive began to block holding meetings and decision-making on changing the company’s top management.

For over three years no investigative actions except for filing petitions for arresting majorities’ shares were taken in the framework of initiated criminal proceedings. Meanwhile, given regular arrests, the Complainant could not dispose of his property. That was the reason why he asked the Business Ombudsman for assistance. 
 
Actions taken: The Council sent written appeals to Kyiv City Prosecutor's Office and the Prosecutor General's Office of Ukraine (PGO) requesting to take control of the pre-trial investigation. The investigator stressed that reasonable time limits for pre-trial investigation had been violated long ago and it was important to make a procedural decision in the case as soon as possible.

The Prosecutor's Office replied to that procedural persons in charge found no delays or reasonable terms violations. 
The Council continued working on the complaint over eighteen months. The Complainant’s issue was repeatedly brought up for consideration at the Working Group meeting with the PGO.

Result achieved: In November 2019, the Council signed a Memorandum of Cooperation with the PGO. The complainant's case was passed to the new PGO top management. 
 
In less than two weeks, the case against the company, which had been under trial for over three years, was finally closed. The Complainant thanked the Council for assistance: “For eighteen months the Council's investigators and the Business Ombudsman closely co-operated with us by informing of joint meetings at the PGO and Kyiv City Prosecutor's Office level. The work was consistent and continuous. This case is not our first successful collaboration experience with the BOC. For us, the Council's way of working is an additional mechanism for a transparent, predictable and objective protection of our interests and fight against corruption instances.”