Criminal investigation initiated against former Kharkiv Governor Avakov


The Kharkiv Regional Prosecutor has initiated a criminal investigation against Arseb Avakov, former Head of the Regional Administration, who last year stood against Gennady Kernes in the election for Mayor.

The criminal investigation, it states, is against officials from the Kharkiv Regional State Administration and the from the Kharkiv Regional Office of the State Agency for Land Resources over alleged land fraud in 2009.

The Prosecutor states that checks were carried out based on a request from the current Kharkiv Regional State Administration on 3 January 2012 on the signing and issuing of state ownership acts for land plots to a limited liability company.

This resulted in a criminal investigation being initiated in connection with “the illegal appropriation through abuse of office and forgery in 2009 of almost 55 hectares of state-owned land worth more than 5.5 million UAH."

Arsen Avakov served as Governor under Viktor Yushchenko. He joined the Batkivshchyna Party of Yulia Tymoshenko in 2010 and ran for Mayor their candidate.  The elections were widely condemned as seriously flawed, and there were calls for a re-run.  These, however, were ignored, and Gennady Kernes declared Mayor. Media reports on Wednesday evening suggested that Mr Avakov is not presently in Ukraine. 

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