KIEV, October 27 (Itar-Tass) —— Unified Energy Systems of Ukraine, a power corporation Yulia Timoshenko headed in 1996-1997 before she became Ukraine’s Prime Minister, transferred about 690 million U.S. dollars to foreign companies, the Delo newspaper reported on Wednesday, referring to materials of a new criminal case opened against Timoshenko last week.
According to an audit report of the company activity the newspaper cites, United Energy Systems of Russia transferred to the account of United Energy International Limited a sum of about 690 million U.S. dollars disguised as payment for natural gas. The corporation received the money as payment for gas sold to Ukrainian clients.
According to investigators, the newspaper writes, part of the proceeds from gas sales was to not meant to be transferred to foreign companies. It was to be used to buy some goods to be delivered to Russia under a contract between the Ukrainian company and the Russian Ministry of Defence. “Instead, the corporation’s executives used the funds to their liking having transferred them to companies they controlled,” investigators say.
As a result, the Russian Ministry of Defence failed to receive logistical support to a sum of 353.62 million U.S. dollars, the newspaper cites a report from the Russian authority for currency and export control. The Russian Ministry of Defence claims repaument of this sum plus financial penalties, to an overall amount of 405 million U.S. dollars.
In March 1995, the Ukrainian Prosecutor General’s Office opened a criminal case against Timoshenko on suspicion of embezzlement of budgetary funds and tax evasion in gas settlements. She was taken to a detention centre, where she spent a several months, from February to April 2001.The case was later closed, and in November 2005, Ukraine’s Supreme Court ruled that all the cases against Timoshenko, her husband Alexander, father-in-law and three other managers of Unified Energy System of Ukraine had been closed in compliance with law.
On October 20, 2011, the Ukrainian Prosecutor General’s Office cancelled the ruling that closed the case against Timoshenko.