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Court authorises fugitive oligarch's trial in absentia

Court authorises fugitive oligarch's trial in absentia
Oleksandr Onishchenko

The High Anticorruption Court has authorised the trial in absentia of ex-MP Oleksandr Onishchenko, who is suspected of organising a "gas scheme". His female assistant may now be tried in absentia too.

Both the defence and prosecution said that Onishchenko is in custody in Germany.

"The court has ordered that a summons be sent to the defendant to Germany," the court said.

The next meeting in the case is scheduled for 4 May.

Investigators suspect Onishchenko of creating a criminal organisation who illegally earned over 1.6bn hryvnyas from the sale of natural gas from January 2013 to June 2016. As a result of their actions, the state-owned gas extraction company Ukrhazdobycha incurred the losses of over 740m hryvnyas.

Several dozen people were involved in this "gas scheme". The criminal group is believed to have been run by the businessman's mother Inessa Kadyrova and businessman Valeriy Postnyy.

On 3 December, he was detained in Germany where he would remain in custody until a decision is made on his extradition.

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