HACC did not choose a preventive measure for ex-Ministry of Defense official Liyev, who is accused of embezzlement of ammunition

Olha Bereziuk

At a meeting on April 17, the High Anti-Corruption Court (HACC) did not choose a preventive measure for the former head of the Department of Military-Technical Policy, Development of Weapons and Military Equipment of the Ministry of Defense Oleksandr Liyev, who is suspected of embezzling 1.5 billion hryvnias for the purchase of ammunition for the Armed Forces.

This is reported by the anti-corruption organization Transparency International Ukraine.

On February 12, Liyev was taken into custody with a 50 million hryvnias bail, and was released home on personal recognizance a month later.

On April 9, the Appeals Chamber of HACC canceled this decision. Liyev, however, did not return to the pre-trial detention center, as the term of detention ended on April 8. In fact, he was left without a preventive measure.

Today, April 17, HACC re-considered the motion of the defense to change the preventive measure, but the need for this has already disappeared, so the court left the motion without consideration.

What preceded

In November 2023, hromadske published an investigation into the 2022 contract between the Ministry of Defense and Lviv Arsenal for the purchase of 100 000 mortar mines. The contract was for 1.3 billion hryvnias, and the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine paid almost 100% of the amount in advance. Ammunition was never delivered. The actual scheme of the agreement, according to journalists, was as follows: Ministry of Defense of Ukraine — Lviv Arsenal (Ukraine) — Sevotech (Slovakia) — WDG (Croatia) — Elmech Sintermak (Croatia). Sevotech was to transfer the money to WDG, and WDG was to buy ammunition from Elmech. However, Elmech stated that it did not receive the money. In the end, the money allegedly remained with Sevotech.

On January 26, 2024, it became known that the Ministry of Defense won a lawsuit against Lviv Arsenal, which was supposed to supply 100 000 ammunition for mortars. Lviv Arsenal must pay the MOU UAH 1 340 465 698 in advance payment, UAH 90 683 623.06 in penalties, and UAH 96 734 638 in fines for non-delivery of mines. As part of this case, accounts and other movable and immovable property of the LLC were seized.

On January 27, the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) announced suspicions against five people for embezzling funds for the purchase of projectiles. The former and current heads of the Department of Military-Technical Policy, Development of Weapons and Military Equipment of the Ministry of Defense (Olexandr Liyev and Toomas Nakhkur), the head and commercial director of the Lviv Arsenal company, as well as their accomplice, a representative of a foreign commercial structure, received suspicion. The suspects face up to 12 years in prison with confiscation of property.

Toomas Nahkur was removed from his duties on February 2, the same day the court imposed personal obligations on him.