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SBU checking controversial candidates for MPs

The check is promised to be quick.

SBU checking controversial candidates for MPs

The acting head of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), Ivan Bakanov, has convened a special meeting after speaker Andriy Parubiy asked the SBU to check whether candidates for MPs Andriy Klyuyev, Anatoliy Shariy and Renat Kuzmin had stayed in Ukraine in the past five years.

"The SBU, acting within its remits, has begun to check the relevant details. This is a socially sensitive and very important issue, therefore the service will inform the Central Electoral Commission (CEC) about the results of its check as soon as today," the SBU said on Facebook.

The SBU also promised to inform the public accordingly.

As reported earlier, the CEC registered as candidates for MPs former Deputy Prosecutor-General Renat Kuzmin, an ex-head of Viktor Yanukovych's presidential administration, Andriy Klyuyev, and video blogger Anatoliy Shariy. Initially, the CEC refused to register them but revised its decisions at the request of the Supreme Court, which refused to recognise the fact that the three candidates had not lived in Ukraine over the past five years. At the same time, the Supreme Court later said that the CEC could refuse to register Klyuyev and Shariy.

According to the Prosecutor-General’s Office, Klyuyev has not been in Ukraine since February 2014 and is wanted by law-enforcement agencies. But, according to the State Border Service, the former head of the presidential administration was not in Ukraine for only nine days - in January 2014. Thus, it is believed that he was at the place of registration in Donetsk occupied by the militants and has the right to run for parliament.

Shariy has not lived in Ukraine either. He left the country after a shooting incident at a McDonalds in Kyiv in May 2011, when he used a firearm during a conflict with another visitor. Shariy was charged with gross violation of public order on the grounds of expressed disrespect for society, which was accompanied by special audacity and exceptional cynicism with the use of firearms (Part 4 of Article 266 of the Criminal Code). Shariy went to Europe and was granted refugee status in Lithuania.

Kuzmin was the first deputy prosecutor-general from 2010 to 2014. Under his control, criminal proceedings were instituted against Yuliya Tymoshenko, Yuriy Lutsenko, which were followed by their conviction, and Leonid Kuchma.

Kuzmin is suspected of a number of serious crimes. In particular, he is under investigation under Part 3 of Article 371 of the Criminal Code (unlawful detention, house arrest or custody). It provides for imprisonment from five to 10 years. In addition, he is under investigation for the illegal detention of former Interior Minister Yuriy Lutsenko in 2010. Kuzmin is on a state wanted list. He has been registered as a candidate for MP on the list of the pro-Russian party Opposition Platform-For Life.

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