is this true?

06/17/2004 | ken morton

By Peter Byrne, Kyiv Post Staff Writer
Jun 16, 2004 23:51

A judge on June 14 conditionally released Luhansk native Borys Feldman from jail, allowing the former Sloviansky Bank vice president to return home, at least temporarily.

Arrested in March 2000 on tax evasion charges, Feldman has spent the last four years in jail where he has maintained his innocence on charges that he failed to pay income tax on a loan he obtained from the bank. According to Ukrainian law, the charges carried no criminal punishment, but he was jailed anyway.

Setting him free is only a first step, quipped Feldmans defense attorney Viktor Aheyev, who vowed to step up efforts to oblige Ukraines judiciary to exculpate Feldman from all the allegations made against him by government officials and various Ukrainian law-enforcement authorities.

Aheyev told the Post on June 15 that Feldman is currently forbidden to travel abroad, but is allowed to move about the country so long as he keeps prosecutors informed of his whereabouts.

Feldman returned home to his wife and four young children in Dnipropetrovsk immediately after being released. He is expected to travel to Kyiv within the next few days, and has agreed to talk to media about his case following publication of an exclusive interview with the weekly Svoboda newspaper on June 21.

Svoboda editor-in-chief Oleh Lyashko, who flew to Dnipropetrovsk to interview Feldman on June 15, urged civic leaders and decision makers, as well as representatives of foreign embassies in Kyiv, to use the interview to brush up on the case.

Serhy Rudenko, spokesman for the Prosecutor Generals Office, meanwhile, told UNIAN news agency that his office may re-indict the banker on as yet unspecified charges. Luhansks Artem District Court is scheduled to hear prosecution and defense arguments on July 5.

The same Luhansk court in April 2002 sentenced Feldman to four years imprisonment for tax evasion and nine years for embezzling from his own bank. Ukraines Supreme Court on March 10 partially upheld an appeal of the convictions, annulling the first charge and halving the prison sentence for the second.

Before being liquidated in 2002, Sloviansky was Ukraines most profitable commercial bank, posting Hr 83.3 million in profits in 1999 on Hr 556.1 million in net assets, the best result among 130 banks belonging to the Association of Ukrainian Banks.

Feldman was arrested in Kyiv on March 13, 2000, for allegedly failing to pay income tax on a loan. While the charge was not a criminal offense, authorities held the banker in pre-trial detention for two years while tax police attempted to uncover other crimes he might have committed.

Audio recordings allegedly made by a former presidential guard in 1999 and 2000 indicate that top government officials conspired to put Feldman behind bars and his bank out of business. They include lengthy conversations between President Leonid Kuchma and Deputy Prime Minister Mykola Azarov. During a May 24, 2000 conversation, Kuchma suggests that Azarov have Feldman intimidated into confessing his guilt.

Put him in a cell with convicts, Kuchma says on the tapes. Let them pound him.

In another conversation, recorded on Aug. 30, 2000, Azarov tells Kuchma that he has arranged with Vasyl Malyarenko, who at the time headed the Supreme Courts criminal justice chamber, to have Feldman tried and convicted in Luhansk.

We agreed with the Luhansk court and have already acquainted a court chairman there with the case, Azarov says. I have talked about adding a charge. We have discussed this with the judges there, whom we can manipulate.


  • 2004.06.17 | Observer

    Oh, yes! This all is perfectly true and well known (-)

  • 2004.06.17 |

    Fuck da CIA.

    Go home! You and Peter too (if Peter isn't you). :)

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