Ihor Bakai “cleared”
The Pechersky District Court in Kyiv has terminated the criminal investigation against the former Head of the State Department of Affairs, Ihor Bakai. The Kyiv Prosecutor’s Office must now decide whether to lodge an appeal.
If the Prosecutor’s Office does not appeal the ruling within seven days, Bakai will be able to return to Ukraine without any fear of criminal prosecution.
At the beginning of May 2005 Ukraine’s Ministry of Internal Affairs placed Ihor Bakai on the international wanted list. He was accused of abuse of his official position and exceeding his powers in his post of Head of the State Department of Affairs.
Bakai left Ukraine following the Orange Revolution and settled in Moscow, receiving Russian citizenship. He has not as yet declared any wish to return to Ukraine.
Specialists comment that government officials from Kuchma’s days are beginning to gradually return to Ukraine. An example is the former Minister of Internal Affairs Mykola Bilokin. Like Bakai, he emigrated to Russia in 2005 immediately after the Orange Revolution and up till now was successfully engaged in business there. In April 2005 the Ministry of Internal Affairs, headed by Yury Lutsenko, announced that Mykola Bilokin had been placed on the Interpol wanted list.
However recent statements by the ex-head of the Ukrainian bureau of Interpol, Rostislav Vergeles suggest that Interpol was never looking for Bilokin, and that therefore the former Minister of Internal Affairs can return to Ukraine.