Prosecutor's office accuses Y. Hurvits of taking bribes

Mykhailo Aksaniuk
writing for the Kyiv newspaper "Day"


13 March 1998

"Investigation by the Department Against Organized Crime has established that by violation of Article 1 "a" of the Ukrainian law concerning "The fight against corruption", member of the Ukrainian parliament, Odesa's mayor E. Y. Hurvits, unlawfully received from a private individual O. O. Anhert, material services whose total value is equal to $13 thousand.  These allegations are wholly supported by the testimony of witnesses."

This accusation is to be found in a submission from Odesa Oblast prosecutor Vasyl Ivanov, addressed to the acting Prosecutor General of Ukraine Bohdan Ferents.  The Odesa prosecutor declined to disclose the details of the charges laid against the mayor; however, he assured our Day correspondent that "a series of facts will shortly be made public."

Local observers estimate that the accusations concern themselves with the payment, over several years, for protection services of a private building owned by Eduard Hurvits, by a private individual O. Anhert, better known by his underworld nickname of "Angel."

To clarify the dispatch of our Odesa correspondent, Day made enquiries of the deputy Prosecutor General of Ukraine Stepan Lotiuk.  However, his receptionist said little other than to suggest that journalists should direct themselves to the press-service of his office for information.  The reporters came up with the appropriate reply: let's go to Stepan Vasyliovych [Lotiuk] and find out what he wants us to say, and how he wants us to say it.  Finally, after half an hour, the following was disclosed: in the fulfillment of his duties as Prosecutor General of Ukraine, Bohdan Ferents announces that he has no documents relating to the accusation of Hurvits taking bribes."

Being guided by the principles of objectivity, from the Odesa's prosecutor Day later learned that the documents in the matter of Hurvits were in the possession of the Office of the Prosecutor General after all.  But these documents were returned to the Odesa office, the official explanation being that this was done "for revision."