UK wants IRS chief Nasirov when Kiev is done

London, United Kingdom. Special British judicial experts have been sitting through proceedings to decide if ex-IRS chief Nasirov can be tried in the UK on criminal charges exposed in trial proceedings that observers fear may be more designed to let Nasirov get away, than actually convict him.

A group of special British authorities are examining whether Ukraine’s former tax chief, a Ukrainian citizen who also holds a British passport, committed crimes for which he could be prosecuted in the United Kingdom after a court in Ukraine ignored evidence provided by anti-corruption police, according to the British Embassy in Kiev.

Ukraine currently does not have a functional corruption court. Proceedings are subject to bribes or evidence excluded, even dismissed under rather lax Ukrainian laws. Some in fact believe Nasirov’s charges are being pushed through now, so he will be free and clean, before a fuctional corruption court can be seated.

Roman Nasirov, the former chief of Ukraine’s IRS or Fiscal Service and an ally of President Petro Poroshenko, was arrested in Ukraine on corruption charges in March, a move that was heralded as a landmark win for anticorruption officials in the country’s fight against entrenched graft.

But in the ensuing trial, prosecutors have struggled to have all evidence, including that provided by Britain, heard by the Kiev court. That prompted the British Embassy to take the extraordinary step of announcing on June 16 that it will consider other possible prosecutorial options against the tax chief.

Britain’s embassy went on to say Nasirov’s case underscored Ukraine’s “urgent need for progress towards a reformed, independent, and transparent judicial system and the swift introduction of specialized anticorruption courts with strictly vetted judges capable of properly trying high-profile corruption cases.”

Ukrainian corruption prosecutors accuse Nasirov, who was removed from his post on March 3, of defrauding the Ukrainian state of about $77 million to the benefit of Petro Poroshenko, via a third party.


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