Anti-graft court nabs MP Labazyuk on charges of trying to bribe Minister Kubrakov, Nayyem
Photo: Serhiy Labazyuk / Facebook

The High Anti-Corruption Court has chosen a pre-trial restriction for Ukrainian MP Serhiy Labazyuk from the For Future group in the form of detention with an alternative bail of 40.26 million hryvnias ($1.1 million). The decision was announced by investigating judge Volodymyr Voronko.

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The term of detention is until January 21, 2024 inclusive.

According to the investigation, Labazyuk, together with the director of his company URD Ukrainian Roads Denys Nazimov, tried to bribe Deputy Prime Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov and the head of the State Agency for Reconstruction and Infrastructure Development, Mustafa Nayyem.

In August 2023, the suspect allegedly asked to give URD contracts for the reconstruction of infrastructure facilities worth 1 billion hryvnias ($27.6 million). In exchange, he offered a kickback of 3-5% of the value of each contract.

Detectives documented the first part of the $150,000 (5.4 million hryvnias) bribe. The money was transferred in a Chinese casket in the parking lot of one of the Kyiv supermarkets.

On November 21, Labazyuk was charged.

The lawmaker denies that he tried to bribe officials.

"Knowing about the public attitude of Kubrakov and Nayyem towards corrupt acts, I could not even have the thought of offering one or the other an undue benefit," Labazyuk claimed.

He said that since 2022, URD had stopped receiving road contracts for reasons unknown to him and was on the verge of bankruptcy. Supposedly, Labazyuk met with Kubrakov and Nayyem only because of this.

"At all meetings, we talked exclusively about the possibilities of the company's work. We never discussed the issue of prices, never once discussed preferences," Labazyuk said in court.

On November 24, VAKS took Labazyuk's alleged accomplice, URD director Nazimov, into custody. He can be released on bail of 12 million hryvnias ($331,145).

MP Andriy Odarchenko, who was charged on similiar counts on the same day as Labazyuk, has already been released on bail of 15 million hryvnias ($413,931). Developer Serhiy Kopystyra, who is also accused of attempting to bribe Kubrakov, was released on bail of 100 million hryvnias ($2.8 million).