March 12, 17:22
KIEV, July 20 (Itar-Tass) —— Kiev’s Pechersky district court returned a verdict under former head of Ukraine’s Customs Anatoly Makarenko.
He was sentenced to four years’ imprisonment with a delay of penalty.
Makarenko’s lawyer Alexei Dirochka said during the hearing the defence failed to prove absence of a crime in deeds of the former head of the Customs Service. The defendant was charged for illegal customs clearance in 2009 of eleven billion cubic metres of natural gas which belonged to RosUkrEnergo.
The lawyer said he did not have a text of the verdict. After getting it, the lawyer will see if the defence will be able to file an appeal.
Earlier Ukraine’s Security Service made a pre-trial probe into the criminal case against officials of Naftogaz of Ukraine and the State Customs Service, who had been accused of peculation of natural gas which belonged to RosUkrEnergo and of its illegal customs clearance in February-March of 2009.
Under the case, detained were former head of Naftogaz Igor Didenko, head of Ukraine’s Customs Anatoly Makarenko and former deputy head of the Energy Regional Customs Taras Shepitko.
The detention of the officials was made following the decisions of the Arbitration Institute of Stockholm’s Chamber of Commerce of March 30, 2010 and of June 8, 2010. Under the decisions, the government of Ukraine was to reimburse to RosUkrEnergo 11.1 billion cubic metres of natural gas, 1.1 billion cubic metres of natural gas as a compensation, and to pay out 197 million dollars as a compensation. At the court, Naftogaz failed to prove as per how and under what conditions the company had managed to buy natural gas without an approval from RosUkrEnergo.
The conflict around the disputable eleven billion cubic metres of natural gas started after signing in January of 2009 by the then Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko of agreements with Russia’s Gazprom on purchases of Russian gas. Gazprom at that time reassigned to Naftogaz the right to demand from RosUkrEnergo 1.7 billion dollars of financial means or eleven billion cubic metres of natural gas. Later on, referring to this right, Naftogaz sold natural gas to Gazprom, and the latter – again to Naftogaz. Thus, it became possible to have it pass customs clearance and to have it sold in the territory of Ukraine.