9 candidates for the post of the SAPO head sent Transparency International Ukraine, the Anti-Corruption Action Centre, the DEJURE Foundation, and Automaidan additional explanations on questions which raised reasonable doubts about their integrity. In particular, we are talking about Oleksii Heiko, Viktor Kutsyi, Andrii Syniuk, Volodymyr Hulkevych, Maksym Hryshchuk, Andrii Kasian, Oleh Borysenko, Oleksandr Formahei, and Oleksii Semeniuk.
Experts of civic organizations have analyzed the information provided by candidates. The publication provides explanations of what candidates sent to our official email addresses and the conclusions of analysts regarding them. Five candidates gave full consent to the publication of their explanations.
You can find the analysis of the explanations of the candidates Oleksii Heiko, Viktor Kutsyi, and Andrii Syniuk below.
Oleksii Heiko, senior detective of the NABU
The candidate did not grant permission to publish the text of the explanations.
- Possible improper declaration: the candidate did not declare his residence in Kyiv in 2015, even though he had begun working in the capital in September 2015.
Candidate’s explanation: housing in Kyiv was not declared in 2015 because he didn’t use it as of the last day of 2015. He referred to the NACP’s explanation.
Analysts’ comment: the NACP did publish an explanation that the property in use should be declared only on the last day of the reporting year when submitting an annual declaration. That is, for example, if a person used property for a year, but did not use it on the last day of the year, then the property cannot be declared. In practice, officials often hid their fortunes this way. It is impossible to check whether the candidate used the property on January 31, 2015. In our opinion, the use of this opportunity not to show property in use is legal, yet questionable from the point of view of integrity.
- There may be an inconsistency between the lifestyle and the declared income.
In 2016, the candidate’s income exceeded his declared expenses by only UAH 28,000 — these funds are obviously not enough to live by for a whole year (this is about UAH 2,300 per month). In 2017, the candidate would have to live on a slightly larger difference — less than UAH 60,000 (less than UAH 5,000 per month).
In 2020, according to the declarations, about UAH 100,000 (UAH 8,300 per month) should remain for accommodation. This amount can really be enough to lead a modest lifestyle in Kyiv. However, in the same year, the candidate purchased an executive car worth more than USD 30,000 which raises reasonable doubts about the veracity of the information displayed.
Candidate’s explanation: the candidate sent his answers to the questionnaire from the competition working group to the SAPO to civic organizations. However, the questionnaire does not answer whether the candidate had sufficient funds for living in 2016, 2017, or 2020.
Analysts’ comment: the candidate did not provide information that would refute the published information.
- Possible improper declaration: in 2015-2017, the candidate did not declare a share of 25% of the apartment in Dnipro
Candidate’s explanation: he did not declare a share in the apartment because he did not know that such property belonged to him. The apartment was privatized in 2000, the candidate did not take a direct part in this, and learned about the ownership right in 2018, when his parents were making a will. There is no information in the Register of Ownership Rights to Immovable Property, since the Register began to function much later.
Analysts’ comment: although the candidate formally committed a violation, there has been no intention not to declare the property.
- Possible underestimation of the cost of housing to reduce taxation
The candidate’s declaration indicates a gift from his mother in the form of an apartment worth UAH 750,000. The market value of such housing is not less than UAH 2 mln. Analysts had reasonable doubts about the underestimation of the cost of the apartment purchased by the candidate’s mother.
Explanation of the candidate: the apartment in question was purchased by his mother for UAH 1,917,342. The candidate explained that most of the amount for the procurement of an apartment was provided to the mother as a loan (the loan was declared), and the mother had UAH 750,000. Therefore, when the mother gave the candidate an apartment, he indicated the amount of UAH 750,000. He denies the goal of “optimizing taxation,” since gifts between the first-degree relatives are taxed at the rate of 0%.
Analysts’ comment: the candidate did not provide documentary evidence about the cost of the apartment. If the candidate provides reliable information about the cost of the apartment in UAH 1,917,342 at the time of procurement by the mother, in his declaration for 2019 the candidate indicates its price as UAH 750,000, received as a gift from the mother. The declaration refers to the gift of an entire apartment, not its share. Thus, the candidate either incorrectly declared the price of the apartment in his declaration, or did not indicate that he had received only a share of the apartment as a gift.
Viktor Kutsyi, prosecutor of the Boryspil Local Prosecutor’s Office of the Kyiv oblast
- Doubts about the origin of funds.
In the candidate’s declaration for 2017, USD 9,000 in cash appeared. If we assume that in 2017 the candidate and his wife set aside this money from the declared family income, then they had UAH 127,700 (UAH 10,600 per month) for two people to live for a year, rent an apartment, and go on holiday. It looks unconvincing and requires explanations.
Candidate’s explanation: the candidate justified the origin of the funds, noting that during the year he purchased USD 6,500, and the remaining USD 2,500 was the balance from the previous year. Since USD 2,500 did not exceed the limit of 50 subsistence minimums, then, according to the explanations of the NACP, they did not need to be indicated in the previous declaration.
Analyst’s comment: the candidate’s explanations can confirm the origin of the funds.
- Possible improper declaration
In the declaration for 2015, the candidate does not indicate any real estate either on the rights of ownership or on the rights of use.
The declarations for 2016-2018 do not indicate the right to use real estate at the place of registration. In the declarations for 2019 and 2020, the candidate already indicated this real estate.
Candidate’s explanation: not provided.
Andrii Syniuk, prosecutor of the Prosecutor General’s Office
The candidate did not grant full permission to publish the text of the explanations.
- Possible improper declaration
In 2017, the candidate declared his wife’s income of UAH 57,000 from the alienation of real estate, which was not indicated in previous declarations.
Candidate’s explanation: the candidate provided a sale and purchase contract of his wife’s property.
Analyst’s comment: the sale and purchase contract of a land plot absolves the fact that this plot is not included in the declaration
- In 2015-2016, the candidate did not indicate any real estate where he should live with his family.
Candidate’s explanation: the candidate notes that at least six times he changed his place of residence, and, as of January 31, neither he nor the family members had or used real estate. Subsequently, his wife’s relatives allowed them to live in a house in the Bortnychiv district; this house is declared.
Analyst’s comment: in the declarations for 2015-2016, the candidate indicates his wife and children in the declaration. According to the sale and purchase agreement of property for 2017, the wife was registered in her father’s house. The candidate himself notes that his wife and children lived in the father’s house. However, the right to use this house is not declared.
In our opinion, the use of this opportunity not to show property in use is legal, yet questionable from the point of view of integrity. Moreover, in our opinion, non-declaration of wife’s place of registration is questionable from the point of view of integrity.
- The candidate could underestimate the cost of a 2012 Nissan Juke car purchased in 2020. According to the declaration, it was purchased for UAH 103,000 by his wife, however, cars of this model and year of manufacture on specialized sales sites are 2.5 times more expensive.
Candidate’s explanation: the candidate provided evidence that he had bought a second-hand car after an accident from the USA for USD ~4,100 (UAH 103,000).
Analyst’s comment: the candidate’s explanations are sufficient.
- Questionable property
Since 2018, the candidate has been using an apartment in Kyiv registered to his father-in-law free of charge. Its declared value is UAH 1.32 mln, although market prices for such real estate are at least twice as high. At the same time, the candidate’s father-in-law is a pensioner who stopped operating as an individual entrepreneur back in 2016, which raises doubts about the father-in-law’s ability to buy such housing.
Candidate’s explanation: The candidate’s father-in-law, according to him, purchased the housing at his own expense and at the expense of his wife. The source of origin of funds, according to the information provided by the father-in-law to the candidate, is his and his wife’s employment, the implementation of business activities by him and his wife, income from the alienation of real estate and vehicles, income from the lease of real estate.
Analyst’s comment: the candidate provided documents confirming the origin of funds from his father-in-law, but there were still doubts about the declared value of the purchased property.