The state authorities continue their attack on local self-government. They are trying to destroy qualitative and principled managers and demotivate honest, professional people to go into politics and build a strong country. Yet another crack-down this time was directed at Andriy Harashchuk, deputy mayor of Yavoriv. Yesterday an envelope with money was planted on him, and today the first court session was held.
According to the lawyers, on January 4, a woman came into Andriy Harashchuk’s office, put the envelope on the table and fled. He followed her immediately, demanding to take the envelope back. But the police were already waiting for him at the door. Andriy Harashchuk was detained on suspicion of receiving a bribe of $1,000. Allegedly, it was “a sign of gratitude” for resolving the issue of placing small architectural forms. However, the deputy mayor has nothing to do with issuing permits – these things are decided upon by the majority of deputies during sessions.
“This woman made an attempt to discredit the work of the Yavoriv city council. All permissions for the installation of small architectural forms were issued many months ago, and there was not a single reason for her to come to my deputy. Andriy Harashchuk has nothing to do with issuing permits, he is not a deputy of the council and he does not make such decisions. It was an attempt to set up a decent and honest man,” says Yavoriv mayor Pavlo Bakunets.
The search and UV ray inspection of the suspect’s hands did not reveal anything. That is, he did not take the money into his hands. He did not resist the investigation in any way either; he provided all the necessary documents and answered the questions of the law enforcement officers even before the lawyers arrived. In addition, dozens of social activists, deputies of councils of various levels, and various political parties made written statements about the good faith of the suspect. Also, local priests claimed support for Andriy Harashchuk, and more than 10 people announced their readiness to take him on bail.
Notably, the woman who brought the envelope is a suspect in another case. In addition to this, various lawyers say that she has been engaged in several similar cases “planting envelopes”. Nevertheless, despite all the arguments, the court chose the most severe of possible measures – detention in custody with the possibility of a bail.
“This is yet another shameful example of the pettiness of the state authorities who do not strive to protect the law, people, but want to protect specific criminal groups that have seized power in the country. Given such a senseless position of the prosecutor’s office, which did not present any proves, and the strong defence, the decision that was made clearly demonstrates all the depth of dependence. This is an offensive against local self-government. And this also demotivates normal, honest, professional people to go into politics and build a strong country. After all, this country is captured by criminals who have seized judicial and investigative power. Sooner or later these criminals will inevitably be destroyed,” says Oleh Bereziuk, chairman of the Samopomich faction in the Verkhovna Rada, commenting on the court’s decision.
In 2015, a candidate from the Samopomich Union Pavlo Bakunets won the mayoral election in Yavoriv. Since then Andriy Harashchuk has been working as the deputy mayor. In two years the team of Yavoriv city council, and Andriy Harashchuk in particular, have managed to change the city of Yavoriv for the better. The city roads have been repaired, sidewalks have been equipped, large cultural festivals are held in the city, national records are established, and the city is gaining increased popularity on the tourist map of Ukraine. Experience shows that the current state authorities recognize successful and independent local self-government as an enemy and try to destroy it.