Italy to Try the Son of Ex-Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov
14 January, 2020
Andriy Klyuyev (L) and Mykola Azarov in the Ukrainian parliament on December 23, 2010. UNIAN

Italian prosecutors in Milan are asking to try the son of Ukraine's fugitive prime minister Mykola Azarov for creating a fake company to launder money. The money was allegedly received by the Azarov family as a bribe from former chief of staff under Viktor Yanukovych, Andriy Klyuyev, for appointing him as a vice prime minister.

This was reported by Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera.

The materials in the case state that an Italian company bought two luxurious villas in Sardinia in 2012. In this way, Azarov's family laundered almost $18 million. The money was given to the family as a bribe from Klyuyev in 2010.

The case is built on information received from Ukraine's Prosecutor's Office and thanks to investigative actions carried out in Cyprus, Austria, Lichtenstein, and Germany under the coordination of Eurojust, the EU's Judicial Cooperation Unit.

The charges formed by Italian prosecutor Adriano Scudieri, along with the country's Guardia di Finanza (a law enforcement agency under the Ministry of Economy and Finance), state that Mykola Azarov offered Klyuyev to "buy" the vice prime minister's seat through a real estate corruption scheme worth $17,775,000.

Part of this illegal money that arrived from a Cypriot company Aspelta Trading Limited eventually reached bank accounts of an Austrian company Garda Handels Und Beteiligungs Gmbh, headed by Friedrich Bubla – a trusted person in Azarov's family.

In October 2012, this Austrian company bought the shares of a fictitious company "Agosto 2012 Srl." Then, in November 2012 and August 2013, this company was used to buy two villas in Sardinia – in Golfo di Marinella in the province of Olbia-Tempio.

According to the newspaper, the villas were first arrested by investigators, then released upon Bubla's request, then rearrested.