Ukrainin reformist Prosecutor Ruslan Ryaboshapka announced Friday that his office will begin “conducting an audit” of cases that were previously investigated and closed, which would include the energy company Burisma, and in particular Hunter Biden’s relationship to the gas giant.
Ryaboshapka appearing at a news conference confirmed that his office has been instructed to review all cases that were closed and or appear to have been “fragmented.”
“We are now reviewing all the cases which were closed, fragmented or investigated earlier in order to make a decision on cases where illegal procedural decisions were taken,” he said.
The announced review would include thus far 15 cases that were previously closed (including Burisma), which have raised concerns. However the review at this moment doesn’t mean that the Burisma case involving Hunter Biden would automatically be reopened, unless something within the initial review raises concerns that the case was somehow mishandled.
Oleksandr Lemenov, founder of a civil society group called State Watch, is a former associate of Ryaboshapka, stating that the reformast prosecutor is “the father of the anti-corruption strategy in Ukraine.” Adding that the dedicated 42-year-old father of three is “transparent, smart and professional.”
David Sakvarelidze, a former deputy in the prosecutor general’s office who clashed with his boss in the previous government also praised Ryaboshapka, “He is an honest person. But being just a good guy is not usually enough. I don’t know if he has the capabilities to meet the expectations of Ukrainian society.”
A criminal probe of Burisma was abruptly closed in 2016, after then-Vice President Joe Biden threatened to hold up $1 billion in foreign aid because of his assertions that the prosecutor on the case was corrupt. Ukrainian officials said previously that the probe was focused on the years 2010 to 2012, before the younger Biden joined the board. They also have said that there is no evidence thus far of any wrongdoing on his part. Prosecutor Ryaboshapka reiterated at a news conference Friday that he knows of no evidence of criminal activity by the younger Biden.
At issue is the extraordinary financial package Hunter Biden received from Burisma with practically no experience within the energy field, while serving on the board. Estimates range he was earning anywhere from $50,000 to $80,000 per month.
Ryaboshapka also emphasized that he has not received any phone calls or undue pressure from either the United States or own government adding, “No foreign or domestic politicians, officials or people who are not officials called me and tried to influence my decisions on specific criminal proceedings,” he said. “The prosecution service is beyond politics. We are conducting an audit of all cases, including those which were investigated by the previous leadership of the prosecutor’s office.”
“The key was those proceedings which were closed or investigated by the previous leadership,” Ryaboshapka said, adding, “In this large number of cases, there may be ones with these two words.”
Adding, “If any laws were violated, we will “react according.”
Moreover since the Biden connection with the Ukraine become public knowledge, 42% of Americans believe the duo should be investigated.
The flash poll conducted by USA Today along with Ipsos, released the poll on Thursday showing that by a margin of 2-to-1 Americans believe that the Biden’s behavior in the Ukraine presents a legitimate reason to investigate.
Moreover, a majority of both Democrats and Republicans believe that senior American officials’ children should be “prohibited from benefiting from their family relationships,” according to Ipsos.
The poll surveyed 1,006 U.S. adults, including 412 Democrats, 403 Republicans and 115 Independents, online Tuesday and Wednesday.