5 July 2019

Case is dismissed: Drozdova & Partners Law Firm has proved absence of elements of crime in NGO’s acts

A non-governmental organization was accused of fraud and abuse of trust resulting in financial damages. However, Drozdova & Partners Law Firm has helped terminate proceedings in the case.

The non-governmental organization disseminated important information about a large construction business, and the latter filed a report of an offence provided by Article 192 of the Ukrainian Criminal Code. The relevant information was included in the Integrated Register of Pre-Trial Investigations and a district office of the Kyiv Headquarters of the Ministry of Interior started a pre-trial investigation. The ‘victim’ submitted that the dissemination of the allegedly misleading information deteriorated the relations between the construction business and its foreign partners who refused to continue their operation and to provide loans.

‘As the investigation progressed, we demonstrated, to the satisfaction of the investigation officer, that the acts of our client contained no elements of the alleged offence,’ Drozdova & Partners Law Firm Director Olena Drozdova has pointed out.

‘Objectively speaking, such an offence lies in the wrongdoer’s obtaining improper benefits through fraud or abuse of trust to the detriment of the property owner or legal possessor, while no elements of fraud are observed,’ the lawyer has explained. ‘Unlike fraud, an offence provided by Article 192 of the Criminal Code does not involve the misappropriation of another person’s property from the owner’s fund—the wrongdoer derives financial benefits from using the property that should have been made available to its owner and added to their property fund.    To put it otherwise, the wrongdoer does not misappropriate the property, but just avoids to transferring it to the legal owner or possessor.’

As there was no misappropriation of the property, and given that the applicant failed to provide any documents supporting the amount of the damages, and subject to the defence’s reasoning, the investigation officer terminated the criminal proceedings due to the absence of elements of the alleged offence.