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Prosecutor’s office lifts seizure of private entrepreneur’s accounts

05.04.2021

Complainee: Prosecutor General’s Office, Prosecutor's Office of Kyiv Oblast

Complaint in brief: The Council received a complaint from a private entrepreneur from Kyiv, who supplies food to hospitals, military units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, boarding schools and other institutions of strategic importance. The businessman complained that law enforcement officers first seized his property and then ignored court hearings.  It turned out that when investigators suspected the complainant of having connections with fictitious companies, the prosecutor seized the entrepreneur's bank accounts. To challenge the prosecutor's decision, the complainant appealed to Kyiv Court of Appeal. However, prosecutors responsible for proceedings refused to attend hearings in person.  The complainant’s accounts were blocked for two months and he could not pay salaries to his subordinates. The inaction of the Prosecutor's Office made the private entrepreneur send an appeal to the BOC.

Actions taken: The investigator examined the circumstances of the complaint and found the complaint substantiated. The Council recommended Kyiv Oblast Prosecutor's Office to ensure attendance of authorized prosecutors at court hearings in the case of the private entrepreneur and to close criminal proceedings. The Council reminded that inaction of the pre-trial investigation bodies and their procedural managers, especially when it comes to interfering with property rights of entrepreneurs, violated the rule of law and can be treated as pressure on business.

Result achieved: Kyiv Oblast Prosecutor's Office followed the Council's recommendations. Law enforcement officers closed criminal proceedings acknowledging absence of offenses on the part of the complainant. The case was closed.