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Ukrainian Lawmaker to Face Trial Over Alleged Bitcoin Bribes

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A Ukrainian lawmaker is set to stand trial after allegedly trying to bribe a government official with $10,000 worth of Bitcoin, anti-corruption officials said on April 16.

The case centers around serving lawmaker Andriy Odarchenko. In a Telegram post from the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU), the nation’s anti-corruption agency said it had sent the case to the High Anti-Corruption Court (VAKS).

Ukrainian Lawmaker ‘Offered Official $50k’ in BTC

Odarchenko is an MP for the Kharkiv Oblast constituency. He represents the ruling Servant of the People Party.

In November last year, NABU initially charged him. VAKS then ordered that Odarchenko be detained for two months.

NABU officials think Odarchenko attempted to bribe the head of the State Reconstruction Agency, Mustafa Nayem, in August 2023.

Lawmaker Andriy Odarchenko.
Lawmaker Andriy Odarchenko. (Source: Oleksiy Kucher/YouTube)

Officials think Odarchenko asked Nayem to help allocate funds to repair Kharkiv State Biotechnology University.

Odarchenko is the former head of the university, and reportedly still retains close links with the institution.

He allegedly promised Nayem an “illegal” Bitcoin payment “equivalent to $50,000,” NABU said.

The agency said the lawmaker “later provided a part of this amount” – BTC 0.39 – which, “at that time was the equivalent of $10,000.”

Ukraine’s ‘First’ Crypto Corruption Case

NABU and the Servant of the People Party noted that the case was the first anti-corruption probe in the nation to involve cryptoassets. The agency claimed that Odarchenko told Nayem:

“I love crypto. Haven’t you ever used crypto? It’s great. I have my own [crypto] exchanges. Everywhere – in Lviv, Kharkiv, and Kyiv. Even in Spain.”

Impounding Russian billionaires’ assets didn’t do much for Ukraine, but a tax might, says @LionelRALaurent https://t.co/ReFTaWytwF via @opinion

— Bloomberg (@business) April 17, 2024

The agency added that it had been “informed” of “suspicions” surrounding the lawmaker on November 21, 2023, and “completed” its probe in January 2024.

And NABU concluded that it “hopes that the case will also be considered by VAKS in a reasonable timeframe.”

Kyiv is currently formulating EU Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA)-inspired crypto regulation.

In January, Kateryna Rozhkova, the First Deputy Governor of the Ukrainian central bank, said that cryptoassets “are not money.”

The post Ukrainian Lawmaker to Face Trial Over Alleged Bitcoin Bribes appeared first on Cryptonews.

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