An Odesa Regional Council member and his wife allegedly were involved in a criminal conspiracy and attempted to illegally gain ownership of public land and property. This was reported by the State Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) on May 1 on its website. The couple are relatives of a prominent opposition party lawmaker who claims the investigation is politically motivated, with the Presidential Office indirectly targeting him.

The couple allegedly attempted to illegally seize the premises of JSC Ukrposhta, the Ukrainian national mail service, and illegally appropriate agricultural lands with a total area of 280 hectares in Zatoka resort village near the coastal protective zone on the Black Sea.

They have been charged with suspicion of forgery, fraud and committing a crime by an organized group. Both were taken into custody with the option to post bail.

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Ukrainska Pravda reports that the primary suspects are Mykola and Lesya Derevyanko, relatives of Oleksii Goncharenko, a Member of Parliament in the European Solidarity party.” Founded by ex-President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, it is the political opponent of President Zelensky and his parliamentary “Servant of the People” party.

Goncharenko told Ukrainska Pravda that his relatives are under investigation as a way for the Office of the President to exert pressure on him personally. He said that he has received threatening calls from the Office.

According to Goncharenko, he is s being targeted in because of his attempts to restore bonus remuneration to the Ukrainian military.

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