Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard
Former member of Rada Aleksandr Onishchenko is accused of stealing government property and state treason in Ukraine. The Deputy himself affirms that was a key middleman through which Petro Poroshenko was put in power by the bribery of parliamentarians in order to make needed decisions. Recently Onishchenko stated that already gave evidence of the corrupt actions of Poroshenko to the US authorities. Now, in an exclusive interview with RT, the disgraced Deputy said how the President of Ukraine buys votes, spends money of the IMF, and strengthens the political weight with the help of financial aid from the West.
RT: You accused Poroshenko of bribing the members of Parliament and affirm that voting in the Rada is bought through the administration of the President. Why did you decide to release this information into the pubic domain
Onishchenko: The government wanted to make from me a culprit. I tried to resolve this situation, I wrote several letters, but they refused contact. To make me guilty in this situation for them would be the easy way out, that’s why I decided to make everything public. President Poroshenko is behind all corruption. I just executed his instructions. He gives bribes to members of Parliament to strengthen his position as President. All important questions that were submitted for voting, such as the appointment of the Prosecutor General, the change of the head of the SBU, the appointment of judges — all of this Poroshenko solved with money. I was part of the team and worked with him for two years, and he solved most of these issues through me. At the end, when I decided to stop these activities, he organized a criminal case against me. I tried to appeal to the government and the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine, but it didn’t work. Now it’s time to tell the truth about how Poroshenko came to power.
RT: You say that in total only about 70 deputies were involved in bribery. What about the others?
Onishchenko: In order to approve any decision, you need to get 226 votes, and in the coalition itself there are now about 230 members. Some don’t come to meetings, others do not vote because everybody understands that if Poroshenko wants to appoint someone from his team, like Lutsenko on a post of the General Prosecutor, he can arrange some dirty deal in order to force them to do what he wants. This is precisely what the General Prosecutor does now. They open cases against commercial companies and then extort money. Thus Poroshenko does deals with businessmen. The State Bank over the past couple of years closed nearly 100 commercial banks. They kill business, and they don’t want anyone but them making money, because they’re afraid of the next elections, in which someone can support the opposition.
RT: Could you tell us about the IMF funds that were used in schemes of bribery?
Onishchenko: I can’t tell you the exact amount. Most of this money went to the war, the continuation of which Poroshenko is very interested in. All contracts related to the war, to the last fine details of the needs of the army, are run by companies close to Poroshenko. For them it is business.
RT: You said that you cooperate with the criminal investigation division of the US Department of Justice, and that you handed over to experts hundreds of proofs of involvement of Poroshenko in corruption. Do you think that the interest of the US authorities suggests that they want to remove Poroshenko?
Onishchenko: I don’t know how deep they want to interfere in the political situation, but they are certainly informed about this. I was already in contact with them in August when I went to London. Poroshenko and his environment didn’t expect this, they thought I would go to Russia and was going to make me from an enemy of the people. They did not expect that I will go to Europe. The U.S. government approached me in London and showed interest in information about Poroshenko and the events in Ukrainian Parliament. Of course, they are interested in this information, because they support him, give him loans and financing. I gave them the documents and now they will decide what to do with them.
RT: Sergey Lutsenko informed that on 29th November you met with American investigators in Madrid and testified. Is this true, and what did you discuss?
Onishchenko: We talked for a long time, because representatives of several Departments wanted to learn everything about it – Department of Justice, Homeland Security, Secret service. I described to them what is happening in Ukraine and what documents I have.
RT: Is it true that Poroshenko has a very close entourage that manages his money? Who are these people and where does the money go?
Onishchenko: Poroshenko at the moment has control over all state companies. This is his biggest business. Managers are appointed from the circle of trusted individuals, the money is laundered through private companies, to which contracts are issued. If you want to receive a contract or win a tender, everything will be decided by people like Kononenko, Granovsky, Berezenko. They collect money for Poroshenko, which is then used for political purposes. One of these aims was the resignation of Yatsenyuk.
It seems to me, Europe was shocked when Ukrainian deputies submitted their eDeclarations, in which millions of dollars were written down. From where did they get them? All this is the result of the activities of Poroshenko, who paid them for votes. Now they are buying mansions and yachts, and they have to declare this money. It seems to me that everything I described is enough for Europe to stop financial support for Ukraine, because all the money goes to corruption.
RT: Are you concerned about your own safety after you were deprived of immunity?
Onishchenko: Of course, there is a risk. Poroshenko became very angry, and certainly will try to prevent the spread of this evidence. But I am cautious and I have guards.
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