Police in Kyiv search former deputy head of Ukraine’s Presidential Office in corruption probe

Kyrylo Tymoshenko in November 2022. Photo:  Tymoshenko’s Telegram channel

Kyrylo Tymoshenko in November 2022. Photo: Tymoshenko’s Telegram channel

Police in Kyiv carried out a search of the former deputy head of Ukraine’s Presidential Office Kyrylo Tymoshenko on Thursday amid reports he was linked to leaking information on a large-scale corruption case by the country’s National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU), Tymoshenko said on Telegram.

Images emerged of NABU officers surrounding Tymoshenko’s car outside a restaurant in central Kyiv on Thursday evening, with initial reports suggesting that Tymoshenko had been detained.

Tymoshenko later confirmed on Telegram that he had been searched, but added that the search had been regarding a “case I have no connection to”, and that having complied with their demands, law enforcement officers had “no personal claims against me”.

While Tymoshenko refused to comment on the grounds for the search, he told journalists at the scene that officers had “politely and calmly” asked for his phone and other gadgets.

Tymoshenko, who is currently an adviser to Ukrainian Defence Minister Rustem Umerov, previously served as deputy head of the Presidential Office between 2019 and 2023. During that time, he oversaw Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s Big Construction project, which aimed to modernise Ukraine’s road network and other key infrastructure.

It is thought that he was searched on Thursday in connection with leaks of information from NABU officers investigating alleged corruption in the Big Construction programme.

Later on Thursday, Ukrainian news outlets reported that NABU officers had also searched the home of businessman Yuriy Holyk, whom an October investigation by anti-corruption group Bihus.Info accused of masterminding an embezzlement scheme within the Big Construction project.

A May investigation by Ukrainian law enforcement agencies then revealed that NABU employees had been leaking information on the Big Construction corruption case to suspects, including Holyk and others close to the country’s Presidential Office, and warning them of upcoming searches.

Investigators reportedly learned of the leaks when they seized a phone belonging to Holyk and found screenshots of correspondence with NABU employees between 2021–2023 that had been sent to him by an intermediary.

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