July 15, 2024

The High Court of the Serbian city of Niš has sentenced Andrii Naumov, former head of the Main Department of Internal Security of the Security Service of Ukraine, to one year in prison on charges of money laundering.

Source: journalists of the Balkan Service of Radio Liberty

Details: The trial court reportedly handed down its verdict on 29 September.

Naumov’s lawyer, Milan Petrović, said that the defence will appeal the decision.

Quote from Petrović: “We believe [as the defence – ed.] that there are absolutely no grounds for conviction for the criminal offence of money laundering, because we believe that the defendant Andrii Naumov could not have committed this criminal offence, especially on the territory of Serbia.”

Previously: In Ukraine, Naumov was served with two notices of suspicion – of misappropriation, embezzlement or seizure of property through abuse of office, and abuse of power or office, and of fraud and causing damage to the state in the amount of 3.2 million hryvnias (roughly US$86,000).

At the same time, Serbia rejected a request for Naumov’s extradition to Ukraine.

Background:

  • Naumov left Ukraine a few hours before the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine on the night of 23-24 February. Naumov’s convoy with money and jewellery left Ukraine just hours before the full-scale war started.

  • He used several vans loaded with cash and jewellery, including diamonds, to flee the country. The vehicles went to Germany, where he was hiding until his arrest in Serbia.

  • He evacuated his family from the country a few weeks prior to that. Ukrainian law enforcement officers initiated criminal proceedings against him on suspicion of treason, and at the end of March 2022, they also conducted searches of his apartments in an elite residential complex in Kyiv.

  • On 1 April, in an evening address, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated that he had deprived Naumov of the rank of general for his “anti-heroism”.

  • In October 2020, journalists of the Skhemy investigation project discovered that the Naumov family bought a three-bedroom apartment in an elite residential complex in the centre of Kyiv at four times below market price.

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