Ukraine's High Anti-Corruption Court has finally launched proceedings into the merits of the long-delayed "amber case" against former parliamentarians Boryslav Rosenblat and Maksym Polyakov. Following lengthy pre-trial preparations, the panel of judges kicked off in-depth deliberations, reported the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office.
After nearly four years tied up in pre-trial proceedings, the "amber case" saw two of the defendants evade standing trial due to the lengthy delays eating up the statute of limitations on the charges.
The "amber case" of Rozenblat-Polyakov is based on one of the most high-profile operations of NABU.
In 2016, as part of the investigation into illegal amber mining, NABU agent Kateryna contacted MP Rozenblat.
She called herself a representative of the Fujairah company from the UAE, which was allegedly going to extract and export amber from Zhytomyr Oblast. For the money, the lawmaker had to help the agency obtain a license to use subsoil and, together with Polyakov, introduce legislative amendments to the Customs and Tax Codes specifically for Fujairah, in particular, so that the company would pay a lower rent for amber mining.
The sum of the bribe offered to the legislators was $300,000.
In July 2017, after this information was made public, Rozenblat and Polyakov were stripped of their immunity.
In October 2018, the case was transferred to the Holosiyivskyi District Court in Kyiv, and on October 28, 2019, to the Higher Anti-Corruption Court, where it was stuck at the preparatory hearing stage for many years.
Rozenblat is accused of receiving an unlawful benefit for exercising the right of legislative initiative (Part 4 of Article 368 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine) and of abuse of influence (Part 2 of Article 369-2 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine). Polyakov is indicted under Part 4 of Art. 368 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine.
The next meeting is scheduled for October 9, 2023.