Court of Appeals annuls decision not to prosecute former Naftogaz CEO

Ukraine's Court of Appeals of the Chamber of Commerce on March 1 annulled the High Anti-Corruption Court's decision to rule against arresting former Naftogaz CEO Andriy Kobolev.

In order to avoid being taken into custody, Kobolev must post a bail set to Hr 229 million ($6.2 million), Ukraine's Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office, or SAPO, said in a post on Telegram.

Earlier on Jan. 18, the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) filed embezzlement charges against Kobolev, alleging that he had awarded himself Hr 229 million ($6.2 million) in unauthorized bonuses in 2018.

The High Anti-Corruption Court decided against arresting Kobolev on Jan. 23, after which prosecutors appealed the decision.

Kobolev was removed from his position as CEO of the state oil and gas monopoly in 2021 but has denied accusations of any wrongdoing.

Additionally, Kobolev has been instructed to surrender his passports, avoid any contact with other suspects or witnesses linked to the case, inform prosecutors of any change in his place of residence, comply with any request from detectives, prosecutors, or the courts, and remain in Kyiv unless granted permission to leave.

As per the allegations by NABU, the unauthorized bonuses were supposedly given to Kobolev as a recognition of his role in Naftogaz's triumph over Russian state gas corporation Gazprom in the Stockholm Arbitration Court.

Bonuses in Ukraine cannot exceed Hr 37.5 million ($1 million), according to NABU.