Swiss prosecutors charge ex-Ukrainian lawmaker with graft

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BERLIN (AP) — Swiss prosecutors have charged a former Ukrainian lawmaker with money laundering as part of an international corruption probe.

Federal prosecutors in Bern said Friday that Mykola Martynenko and an unidentified second Ukrainian are accused of laundering 2.8 million euros ($3.1 million) through Switzerland and an offshore company registered in Panama.

The office said the charges came as part of an investigation with authorities in the Czech Republic and Ukraine, where Martynenko has also been charged.

Prosecutors allege Martynenko received kickbacks from Czech engineering company Skoda in return for awarding it contracts to supply equipment to the state-owned operator of Ukraine’s nuclear plants, Energoatom.

Martynenko denies the charges.

Martynenko was a top ally of former prime minister Arseny Yatsenyuk who had served in parliament from 1998 to 2016 when he stepped down over corruption allegations. He had been described at the time as the financier behind Yatsenyuk’s People’s Front party.

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