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Суд взяв під варту з можливістю застави одного із фігурантів «схеми Курченка» – прокуратура

4 лютого Приморський районний суд Одеси задовольнив клопотання прокуратури області про взяття під варту підприємця, одного з організаторів махінацій із нафтопродуктами у незаконній схемі бізнесмена-втікача Сергія Курченка. Як йдеться в повідомленні прокуратури Одеської області на сторінці у Facebook, суд застосував до чоловіка запобіжний захід у вигляді тримання під вартою з можливістю внесення застави у 20 мільйонів гривень.

«Вказаного чоловіка затримали одеські правоохоронці 3 лютого у місті Дніпро. За даними слідства, цей фігурант займався координацією у злочинній схемі реалізації 800 тисяч тонн нафтопродуктів, до якої входили представники фіктивних фірм, працівники Одеської митниці та інших контролюючих органів регіону», – йдеться в повідомленні.

У прокуратурі також додали, що цього тижня було повідомлено про підозру трьом посадовцям Одеської митниці та двом представникам підприємства, причетним до реалізації нафтопродуктів під виглядом їх транзиту та реекспорту. 

«Унаслідок злочинних махінацій до державного бюджету не надійшло 1,2 мільярди гривень обов’язкових платежів», – додали у прокуратурі.

Триває досудове розслідування.

Генпрокуратура України визнала групу компаній СЄПЕК Сергія Курченка, якого зараховують до близького оточення колишнього президента Віктора Януковича, злочинною організацією і повідомила про досудове розслідування за фактом створення злочинної організації, «члени якої упродовж 2010-2014 років вчинили низку тяжких та особливо тяжких злочинів у різних сферах економіки з метою заволодіння майном державних підприємств, що входять до системи Міністерства інфраструктури, Міністерства енергетики та вугільної промисловості, зокрема компаній «Нафтогаз» та «Укргазвидобування», а також Національного банку України».

Рішеннями судів в Україні на майно Сергія Курченка накладено арешт, а щодо нього самого винесено рішення про заочне засудження. За даними СБУ, Курченко переховується в Росії.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Упродовж доби на Донбасі було 35 обстрілів з боку бойовиків, 1 військовий поранений – штаб АТО

У прес-центрі штабу АТО повідомили, що від початку доби і до 18-ї години 4 лютого підтримувані Росією бойовики на Донбасі здійснили 35 обстрілів, поранення зазнав один військовослужбовець. Про це йдеться у повідомленні штабу на сторінці у Facebook.

«Російсько-окупаційні війська дещо зменшили обстріли наших позицій. На донецькому напрямку вони з танків та БМП неодноразово обстрілювали Кам’янку та Авдіївку. З артилерії калібру 152 міліметри – Новолуганське. Зі 120 та 82-міліметрових мінометів – Авдіївку, а з стрілецької зброї – Зайцеве», – йдеться в повідомленні.

Крім того, за даними штабу, обстріли бойовиків також зачепили населені пункти Чермалик, Широкине, Красногорівку, Павлопіль, Водяне, Талаківку, Новозванівку, Богуславське, Попасну і Жовте.

У штабі також нагадали, що о 17:30 бойовики почали штурм позицій ЗСУ в районі Авдіївської промзони.

В угрупованні «ДНР» вдень заявили, що українські військові за добу майже 1800 разів обстріляли територію, підконтрольну бойовикам. Один з ватажків угруповання Едуард Басурін назвав ситуацію «напруженою». В угрупованні «ЛНР» повідомили про 10 фактів порушення режиму тиші за попередню добу, а сьогодні заявили, що ЗСУ перекинули в район Тихого підрозділи радіо-електронної боротьби.

Загострення ситуація на Донбасі, зокрема через бої поблизу Авдіївки спостерігається з 29 січня. Сторони конфлікту звинувачують одна одну у спричиненні боїв і повідомляють про загиблих і поранених, як серед бійців, так і серед цивільних. 

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Pakistani Official Signals Flexibility in Discussing Afridi Case With US

A top Pakistani official has hinted that his government would be willing to discuss with the new American administration freedom for Shakil Afridi, the jailed doctor who helped the United States hunt down Osama bin Laden in 2011.

“We will handle this issue within the parameters of our legal system but at the same time we don’t want it to become an irritant with anyone. That is not the purpose of [our legal proceedings],” said Tariq Fatemi, the Pakistani prime minister’s foreign policy aide.

His remarks to a local television station, Geo News, followed reports of renewed pressure on Pakistan to release Afridi since U.S. President Donald Trump assumed office last month.

Fatemi denied the reports, however, saying the issue has not “at all come under any discussions” his government has held so far with the Trump administration.

Fatemi went on to acknowledge the previous U.S. administration had demanded Afridi be released, but was “elaborately” informed that the man is a Pakistani national who violated local laws and was being dealt with accordingly.

Hailed as a hero in US

Afridi is hailed as a hero in the U.S. for helping the CIA obtain the Bin Laden family’s DNA by organizing a fake immunization campaign that led American forces to raid and kill the fugitive al-Qaida chief in his hideout in the Pakistani city of Abbottabad in May of 2011.

Fatemi maintained that “if a third country’s assessment finds his [Afridi’s] actions useful to them, it is not the case under Pakistani rules.”

Afridi’s fake immunization campaign was followed by the covert American military action that triggered widespread backlash in Pakistan, prompting many internationally-backed health programs to shut down.

Soon after media reports emerged about how the world’s most wanted man was tracked down, Pakistani authorities moved to detain the doctor, put him on trial and convict him for treason. Currently, Afridi is serving a 33-year jail sentence in a Peshawar prison.

Fatemi also dismissed reports the Trump administration plans to add Pakistan to its list of seven Muslim-majority countries whose citizens have been subject to strict screening before being allowed into the United States.

Instead, the key Pakistani advisor described as “positive and constructive” his discussions with the Trump team during a visit to Washington days before the inauguration of the new U.S. president.

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Police Chief Runs Investigation of Myanmar Lawyer’s Killing

Myanmar’s national police chief has taken personal charge of an investigation into the killing of a prominent lawyer and adviser to Aung San Suu Kyi’s ruling party, police sources said, after leaks and conflicting comments by officers about its progress.

The killing of Muslim advocate Ko Ni, 63, shot in the head Sunday in front of onlookers while he held his grandson outside Yangon’s international airport, has rocked the commercial capital, where acts of political violence are rare.

It comes amid heightened religious and communal tensions in the Buddhist-majority country, with a report from the United Nations human rights office Friday saying a military crackdown on Rohingya Muslims in the northwest in recent months “very likely” amounted to crimes against humanity.

Tens of thousands turned out for Ko Ni’s funeral, and the public is closely watching how authorities investigate a killing the civilian president’s office has called an attempt to destabilize the state. 

Colleagues have told Reuters Ko Ni was working on amendments to Myanmar’s military drafted constitution to help the National League for Democracy-led government rule effectively in a system that keeps soldiers in control of key ministries.

Police chief arrives

Major General Zaw Win, chief of the Myanmar Police Force, arrived in Yangon from the capital, Naypyidaw, Thursday to oversee the probe, which is being led by the police’s criminal investigation department, two police officials told Reuters.

The official, who like other police spoke about the investigation on condition of anonymity, said the military’s domestic intelligence agency was also involved in the probe.

A military intelligence agent told Reuters he was instructed to monitor Ko Ni in the months before the lawyer’s death. The intelligence agency was primarily concerned with how the suspect obtained a firearm, ownership of which is tightly controlled in Myanmar, the official said.

Citizen investigators

The suspected shooter, named by police as Kyi Linn, 53, was arrested after a group of taxi drivers chased him down. One of the drivers was shot and killed. 

Despite a ban on police talking publicly about the case, photographs showing parts of a report on Kyi Linn’s interrogation have spread widely online. The leak sparked a race on social media to identify a man who, according to the document, Kyi Linn said enticed him to shoot Ko Ni.

The office of President Htin Kyaw said late Friday that a 46-year-old named Aung Win Zaw had been detained just hours after Ko Ni’s shooting, in the eastern state of Kayin, which borders Thailand.

Aung Win Zaw is accused of conspiring with Kyi Linn to kill Ko Ni, the office said in a statement, adding that police were searching for more suspects.

Police said Kyi Linn, who is charged with murder, has been jailed twice in the past for trafficking Buddhist artifacts, but was released in a 2014 amnesty granted by then-President Thein Sein.

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WeChat Users Send 46 Billion Digital Red Packets for Lunar New Year

Users of WeChat sent around 46 billion electronic red packets — digital versions of traditional envelopes stuffed with cash — via the Chinese mobile social platform over the Lunar New Year period, the official Xinhua new agency reported Saturday.

China has a long tradition of giving red packets during the Lunar New Year, which fell on January 28 this year.

Internet giants such as Alibaba Group Holding have promoted the use of virtual red packets, also known as “hongbaos,” to grow business in the country’s booming mobile payment market.

The number of digital red packets sent via WeChat, owned by Alibaba rival Tencent Holdings Ltd, rose 43 percent in the January 27 to February 1 period compared with a year earlier, according to Xinhua.

People in the provinces of Guangdong, Jiangsu, Shandong and Hebei led the red packets mania, while South Koreans were WeChat’s most active hongbao senders outside the Chinese mainland, Xinhua said.

Since its launch in 2011, WeChat has become China’s most popular mobile social media platform. Besides sending text, audio and video message for free, users can also use the WeChat digital wallet to pay utility bills, make donations and buy plane tickets.

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UN Removes Afghan Warlord Hekmatyar From Terrorist List

The United Nations has removed notorious Afghan warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar from its list of designated terrorists following his recent peace agreement with the Kabul government.

“Therefore, the assets freeze, travel ban and arms embargo … no longer apply to him,” the U.N. Security Council’s Sanctions Committee said in a statement issued in New York Friday.

The move comes months after Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s government sealed a peace deal with Hekmatyar’s Hizb-e-Islami, or HIG, an insurgent faction.

The truce

The truce required Hekmatyar to cease fighting against the Afghan government in return for his removal from the U.N. blacklist, along with other leaders of his faction, and allowing his group to resume political activities in Afghanistan.

Friday’s announcement has set the stage for the notorious fugitive warlord, a designated “global terrorist,” to return to Afghan politics after years in hiding, allegedly in neighboring Pakistan, though his aides insist he is present somewhere in the country.

A member of Hekmatyar’s peace negotiating team, Atiqullah Safi, confirmed to VOA Saturday that the group has formally been informed about the removal of their leader’s name from the U.N. terrorist list.

“The world body has taken this step at the request of the Afghan government and we welcome it,” senior government official Akram Khpalwak told VOA. He heads a joint committee of government and officials from Hekmatyar’s group, which is tasked to oversee implementation of the peace deal.

“It will boost efforts the government has been making to promote peace in the country,” Khpalwak said.

Reaction

Local and international human rights groups have been critical of the peace deal from the outset and called for Hekmatyar be held accountable for his alleged crimes.

“His return will compound the culture of impunity that the Afghan government and its foreign donors have fostered by not pursuing accountability for the many victims of forces commanded by Hekmatyar and other warlords that laid waste to much of the country in the 1990s,” Human Rights Watch said in a recent statement.

Hekmatyar’s group has been fighting the U.S.-backed Afghan government alongside the Taliban for the past 15 years. He was designated a terrorist in 2003 for his association with al-Qaida.

A longtime guerilla commander with a history of war crimes and rights abuses, Hekmatyar’s forces fought against the former Soviet Union in the 1980s. Later, his militias battled the Taliban for control of Afghanistan during the brutal civil war of the 1990s.

The United States has also designated him a terrorist and offered millions of dollars for information leading to his arrest. But Washington has welcomed Kabul’s peace deal and promised to take steps to support efforts aimed at ending years of conflict in Afghanistan.

However, the Taliban has refused to engage in peace talks with the Afghan government and instead intensified insurgent activities across the country.

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Mattis: ‘Exhaust All … Diplomatic Efforts’ in South China Sea

The U.S. defense secretary says the United States recognizes Japan’s administration of the Senkaku Islands; a comment quickly criticized by China.

Jim Mattis said Saturday in Tokyo that in talks with his Japanese counterpart, Tomomi Inada, he “made clear that our longstanding policy on the Senkaku Islands stands.”

The uninhabited, contested islands are known as the Senkaku in Japan and as the Diaoyu in China. Both countries claim sovereignty, and China has created artificial islands in the contested South China Sea area.

In addition, Taiwan, Malaysia, Vietnam, the Philippines and Brunei also claim parts of the waters that contain strategic sea lanes and rich fishing grounds, as well as oil and gas deposits.

No military moves

Mattis, however, stopped short of calling for any military moves in the area.

“What we have to do is exhaust all efforts, diplomatic efforts, to try to resolve this properly, maintaining open lines of communication,” Mattis said. “At this time we do not see any need for dramatic military moves.” 

The U.S. defense secretary criticized China for the distrust it has caused with its assertiveness in the South China Sea region.

“China has shredded the trust of nations in the region, apparently trying to have a veto authority over the diplomatic and security and economic conditions of neighboring states,” Mattis said.

China responds

In Beijing, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman criticized the U.S. stance on the contested area. Lu Kang called on the U.S. to “… take a responsible attitude, stop making wrong remarks on the issue involving the Diaoyu islands, sovereignty, and avoid making the issue more complicated and bringing instability to the regional situation.”

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Vietnamese Family Stranded in Bangkok by Trump’s Travel Ban

On Monday, H. and his family learned their move from Bangkok to the United States as refugees from political persecution in Vietnam would be delayed because of President Donald Trump’s sweeping executive order on immigration, signed January 27. 

The order halted the entry of all refugees for 120 days for a review of the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program, barred all Syrian refugees indefinitely, and set a 90-day entry ban on immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries. The order also cut the number of refugees that the U.S. can accept in fiscal year 2017. President Barack Obama had set the level at 110,000 before he left office. Trump set the level at no more than 50,000 refugees.

According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, refugees receive “the highest degree of security screening and background checks for any category of traveler to the United States.” The process can take years.

Trump’s order, while highly unpopular overseas, is supported by roughly one-half of all Americans, according to polls, and is consistent with repeated promises he made during his election campaign. Homeland Security chief John Kelly maintained at a news conference this week that the ban is not aimed specifically at Muslims, adding that his agency’s mission “is to safeguard the American people, our homeland, our values.”

 

The final confirmation of the delay of the H. family’s transfer for resettlement came via the International Organization for Migration (IOM) on the Monday following Trump’s action. Family members had already surrendered the lease on their apartment, taken their children out of school and quit their jobs as they readied to leave Thailand.

“My wife and I were devastated by the news,” H. said, asking VOA to identify him only by the first letter of his given name for safety reasons. “My wife is almost six months into her pregnancy. She took it really hard and almost fainted.”

When asked about the H. family, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok said in an email to VOA that the embassy “was not able to comment on specific cases.”

She added that the Refugee Admission Program would resume after a period of 120 days “for nationals of countries for which the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security and the Director of National Intelligence determine that there are adequate procedures to ensure the security and welfare of the United States.”

The Trump administration on Tuesday said nearly 900 refugees would be allowed into the U.S. this week despite the ban, saying they already were traveling, and that stopping them would cause “undue hardship.”

H., once a Buddhist monk, is from the Khmer Krom ethnic group indigenous to Vietnam’s Soc Trang province. In 2007, he participated in protests demanding religious freedom. Jailed for seven days, he said he was forced to return to secular life. In 2009, he fled to Cambodia, and then because “Vietnamese authorities were hunting for me,” he fled to Thailand and applied to become a refugee.

With help from lawyers from Boat People SOS (BPSOS), a Virginia-based organization that resettles former political prisoners of Vietnam, H. and his family obtained refugee status from the UNHCR in 2014.

When contacted by IOM, the H. family was preparing to surrender to Thai authorities to enter the Immigration Detention Center (IDC) prior to a February 8 departure for Los Angeles.

People seeking refugee status in Thailand are often in violation of that nation’s immigration laws. Some have overstayed their visas. Others have entered Thailand illegally. These offenses mean the refugees must be held in the IDC before leaving Thailand.

The H. family had anticipated paying a fine equivalent to $190 for violating Thailand’s immigration laws and being held at the IDC for about a week. Now the family is subsisting on that money.

Jennifer Bose, reporting officer for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) office in Thailand, said the U.N. would be providing assistance to those affected families as a matter of the agency’s policy.

The UNHCR does not comment on individual cases, but Bose says there are “a couple of hundred” people that were preparing to depart Thailand as part of the resettlement program within the coming weeks. Their journeys are on hold.

The UNHCR is waiting to see “what will happen after the 120 days,” Bose said. “Because we don’t know more than you, we have been talking with authorities and with the U.S. Embassy in trying to just understand the situation. But … at the moment we don’t know.”

Phil Robertson, deputy director of the Asia division of Human Rights Watch, said, “This blunderbuss type of approach to ban all refugee resettlement for 120 days is really putting people in a very difficult situation,” adding that Trump’s order is “causing a great deal of consternation, apprehension for no good reason, to be honest.”

H. said he hopes Trump will rethink his order, but he admits uncertainty overshadows his family’s future.

“My wife will probably have given birth after 120 days,” he said. “I’m not so sure if we’ll be allowed to resettle in the U.S. then.”

VOA reporter Ron Corben contributed to this report from Bangkok.