Espreso. Global

Ukraine's wanted ex-SBU general Naumov released from prison in Serbia — BBC

3 January, 2024 Wednesday
13:31

In early December 2023, former Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) General Andriy Naumov, who was sentenced to a year in prison for money laundering in Serbia, was released from prison

This was confirmed to the BBC by the High Court of Niš.

Due to the consideration of the appeal against the sentence, Naumov's documents were seized and he was banned from leaving the territory of Serbia, although he was released from prison in early December.

"He is not yet allowed to leave the country or his place of residence until the appeal process is completed," the Serbian court said.

Naumov's lawyers filed a complaint against the decision to ban him from leaving Serbia, arguing that there was a threat to their client's life, but the court did not satisfy it.

In addition, according to Naumov's lawyers, as part of the extradition proceedings, the court found that there was a real threat to his life, and Naumov himself claimed that there were dangers associated with staying in Serbia.

"There are contradictions in the position of the same court, as well as in the actions aimed at isolating Andriy Naumov. Our team is documenting all the violations in this process for further appeal in international instances," the lawyer said.

What is known about Andriy Naumov

Andriy Naumov is a subject of a number of journalistic investigations into smuggling and corruption schemes at customs. In 2019-2021, Naumov was the head of the SBU's Main Department of Internal Security. Prior to that, he headed the state-owned enterprise Center for Organizational, Technical and Information Support of the Exclusion Zone Management.

When Naumov was the head of the SBU's Main Department of Internal Security, he was involved in an investigation by Skhemy journalists into the acquisition of elite property disproportionate to the official income of a civil servant. Skhemy also reported that on the eve of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, on February 23, Andriy Naumov traveled abroad.

In Ukraine, Naumov was notified of suspicion of "misappropriation, embezzlement or seizure of property by abuse of office, and abuse of power or office (Part 4 of Article 191, Part 2 of Article 364 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine)," as well as fraud and causing damage to the state in the amount of more than UAH 3.2 million. 

Naumov was detained in Serbia on June 7, 2022. After that, Ukraine had sent a request to Serbia for the extradition of Andriy Naumov, who is also suspected of treason and assisting Russian troops in the seizure of the Chornobyl nuclear power plant.

On September 29, the highest court in the Serbian city of Niš sentenced the former SBU general to one year in prison on charges of money laundering.

In November, Serbia refused to extradite Andriy Naumov to Ukraine following an appeal by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who called him a "traitor."

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