UARU
'Poroshenko Has Yet To Prove That He Hasn’t Done Anything Illegal' – OCCRP Co-Founder
7 June, 2016
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What You Need To Know:

✓ President Poroshenko claimed that there was no offshore scandal when asked a question about allegations against him revealed in the Panama Papers;

✓ “He has not provided information to prove that he hasn’t done anything illegal and Slidstvo and OCCRP has done a good job raising issues with documents that appear to show an opposite thing;”

✓ The investigations have received a lot of pushback, most recently in am op-ed published in Politico, written by registered lobbyist Adrian Karatnycky;

✓ “The piece was an absolute puff-piece that was insulting to Slidstvo and Kyiv Post reporters and was insulting to the press in Ukraine; it was factually wrong in many different places.”

At a recent press conference, Ukraine’s President Poroshenko claimed that there was no offshore scandal when asked a question about allegations against him revealed in the Panama Papers. According to Drew Sullivan, editor and co-founder of the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), the sitting president is not addressing serious questions about offshores: “He has not provided information to prove that he hasn’t done anything illegal and Slidstvo and OCCRP has done a good job raising issues with documents that appear to show an opposite thing.” Following a second investigation, there was a surprising lack of reaction from the Ukrainian press.

The investigations have received a lot of pushback, most recently in am op-ed published in Politico, written by registered lobbyist Adrian Karatnycky. The piece claims that investigations were carried out by amateur journalists and civic activists, and that Poroshenko did nothing illegal. Sullivan says “the piece was an absolute puff-piece that was insulting to Slidstvo and Kyiv Post reporters and was insulting to the press in Ukraine; it was factually wrong in many different places.” He adds that there was no credibility in the article and that Politico should be embarrassed for publishing it.

Sullivan says that there was no translation error in the investigation and that Cyprus lawyers have confirmed that cash and in-kind valued assets were sent to Cyrpus. He adds that President Poroshenko needs to answer the questions about his offshores and provide the relevant documents. “This can be put in the past if Mr. Poroshenko simply makes those documents available.”

Many more stories will come out of the Panama Papers in the weeks and years to come. What has been revealed in the Panama Papers so far is an incredibly valuable archive, says Sullivan, and five years from now, journalists will continue to refer to these discoveries that will possibly make more sense with time.

Hromadske’s Josh Kovensky spoke to Drew Sullivan, editor and co-founder of the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project during live broadcast of The Sunday Show on June 5th, 2016 in Kyiv.