Chief Rabbi of Ukraine Moshe Reuven Asman on Friday met secretly with National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) Director Artem Sytnyk, Rabbi Asman reported on his Facebook page, and accused the agency head of extreme misconduct.
In late October, 2018, the chief rabbi and the Jewish community of Kiev accused the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine of illegal surveillance. Since then, according to Chief Rabbi Asman, the agency in question has been leaning on members of the Kiev Jewish community, among them, as he put it, individuals of impeccable reputations, to give false testimony against fellow Jews.
The National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) is a law enforcement anti-corruption agency which investigates corruption in Ukraine and prepares cases for prosecution. It was established in 2014 on the request of the International Monetary Fund, after its predecessor, the National Anti-Corruption Committee, was declared a failure.
NABU has the power to investigate but cannot indict suspects. The agency’s findings are passed to the Special Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office to be turned into new indictments or be integrated into existing cases. The agency’s government funding is mandated under American and European Union aid programs. It has an evidence-sharing agreement with the FBI.
The chief rabbi of Ukraine and Kiev stated on Facebook (the enclosed text was generated using Facebook Translate):
“I received with deep sadness the unfair words of the head of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau Artem Sytnika, who—after taking office—swore to the people of Ukraine to speak the truth!
“A violation of an oath made in court is punishable by criminal charges. A violation of the oath given to the people is brought to the court of mankind. The violation of the oath given to a holy spiritual congregation obviously involves the court of Heaven.
Artem Sytnik yesterday directly stated that the information about surveillance of parishioners in the synagogue is fake. Alas, yesterday he publicly told an untruth, I have documents confirming the opposite. Moreover, Artem had met me confidentially, and I provided him with the necessary evidence of the persecution of my parishioners, so that it is not possible to claim that he is not aware of it. In this regard, we have other documents and evidence from international partners deeply concerned about the situation.
“I am also informed of the actions of NABU aimed at persecution of parishioners of the synagogue. I personally spoke with witnesses who described pressure put on them and threats from NABU detectives to give false testimony and to expose innocent people.
“And finally, I’m not a specialist in law, but a spiritual person, but when there are people with impeccable reputations and professionalism on the same side, who enjoy a trusted social reputation (lawyers, human rights defenders, judges of the European court of justice, intellectual leaders), and who are respected not only by me, but also by society – while on the other side there are people with questionable reputation from NABU, the situation is obvious to me.
“Of course, I have every intention to inform the international public on the situation, as well as request the leadership of our country to take action.
“I pray that the truth will be won, and that those who speak falsehoods will repent.”