Ukraine: Warrants Issued for Two Former Top Officials

The Pechersky district court in Kyiv has issued arrest warrants for two former top officials of the Ukrainian government.


Former Prime Minister Azarov

The warrants are for former finance minister Yuriy Kolobov and former prime minister Mykola Azarov, who were both added to Interpol’s most wanted list on Jan. 12 along with former president Viktor Yanukovych.  The warrants will allow Ukrainian prosecutors to request extradition. The prosecutor’s office began preparing documents for their extradition on Jan. 20.

Interfax reports that Ukrainian officials have asked Interpol to issue “red notices” to place a number of individuals on its international wanted list. Thus far eight senior Ukrainian officials, including Kolobov, have been listed; another 22 requests are pending.

The Prosecutor’s Office launched its criminal investigation into Kolobov on Sept. 30, 2014, for allegedly colluding with senior officials to embezzle 220 million Ukrainian hryvnia (US$ 1.4 million) from the state to purchase a stake in a telecom company, Ukrtelecom, and build a special telecommunications network.

Azarov resigned from his position on Jan. 28. 2014, amid political protests. On Oct. 2nd, the Pechersky District Court seized Azarov’s home in Kiev, and began pre-trial investigations into misappropriation of property, embezzlement and abuse of power on Dec. 29.