The Supreme Anti-Corruption Court has recently delivered a verdict in a once sensational case of embezzlement of the seized property of gambling establishments by Deputy Head of the Department of the Prosecutor General’s Office Dmitry Sus, writes SR.
At one time, Dmitry Sus investigated many high-profile cases – he handed suspicion on the street to ex-deputy prosecutor general Vitaliy Kasko, entered the office of Anton Chernushenko, chairman of the Kyiv Court of Appeal, and dealt with the disappearance of Oleg Seminsky, ex-chairman of the board of Neftegazdobycha.
The twilight of his promising career took place in the midst of an interagency struggle between the National Anti-Corruption Bureau and the Prosecutor General’s Office.
In the spring of 2016, the GPU Department for Investigation of Particularly Important Cases in the Sphere of the Economy registered proceedings on the likely demand for a bribe of $1 million by NABU head Artem Sytnik.
At the same time, NABU also launched an investigation into the fact that investigators of the GPU Department conduct illegal visual surveillance of individuals. And the head of this Department, Vladimir Gutsulyak, acquired significant assets, the legality of the acquisition of which is not supported by evidence, including land, apartments in Khmelnitsky and Kyiv, real estate in the Czech Republic and Spain. Allegations were verified that the head of the Department received $1.35 million in improper benefits. Then the deputy head of the Department, Dmitry Sus, who was seen driving an AUDI Q7 registered to his grandmother, also came into view. And in April 2017, detectives undertook to investigate the embezzlement and misappropriation by GPU officials of property seized during searches.
The conflict became public in August 2016, when representatives of the GPU Department discovered a stationary observation post for their employees – a safe house of NABU and detained two employees of the Bureau. Deputy Head of the Department Dmitry Sus went to NABU with the intention of conducting a search in this case. In September 2016, three employees of the Department, including Sus, were suspended.
On July 26, 2017, Dmitry Sus was detained at the Boryspil airport when he was heading to Turkey for a family vacation. A couple of hours earlier, Souss posted a photo of the plane on Facebook, and NABU employees were not late.
The former investigator was accused of not declaring the use of a car registered to his grandmother, and misappropriation of someone else’s property through abuse of office – cash and gaming equipment and furniture seized at three addresses in Kyiv, where illegal casinos allegedly operated:
- On January 16, 2016, during a search in the Tsar restaurant and the Druzhba hotel on Druzhby Narodiv Boulevard, Souss found and seized $9,025, UAH 54,878 and UAH 137,782. In the future, the former investigator did not seem to take into account these funds and appropriated them.
- On January 20, 2016, during a search at 97-37 Volodymyrska Street, Sus seized and appropriated another UAH 8,600;
- 04/15/2016 during a search in a restaurant on the street. Naberezhno-Pecherskaya Doroga, 5 Sous allegedly took possession of a video recorder of an unknown make, model and cost, from which he allegedly took out a hard drive and took it for himself and then used it for covert video recording in his office.
On October 30, 2016, in the city of Kyiv, “through an unidentified individual,” Sus allegedly sold slot machines, four roulette tables, seven poker tables, a game table with legs, fifteen bar stools, and a metal statue of a woman for $10,000. and other items previously seized during searches in Bila Tserkva.
The buyer turned out to be businessman Yakubik, who told the court that he met Sus because he searched his house, and then his friends, noting in the search warrants that Yakubik was the owner of all the premises and illegal casinos were operating there. Yakubik said that the purchased slot machines and furniture were delivered to him and he was going to use them in Georgia, in Batumi, where he organized a gambling business. He transferred money to Susu through his assistant and even recognized him and called the NABU detective. However, the name of this man did not appear in the cases, since no other evidence of his involvement was found.
Yakubik told the court that the other seized property has not been returned so far. During one search, employees of the GPU took away about 100 thousand US dollars, and entered 27 or 17 thousand dollars into the protocol. He believes that Soos had a business of “slamming the halls” and then selling playground equipment.
The case file contains the conclusion of an official investigation, which gives a negative assessment of the work of the GPU investigators in the case of illegal casinos:
“The pre-trial investigation was carried out at a very low professional level. Instead of taking appropriate measures to bring the perpetrators to justice, to collect proper and admissible evidence, the investigation was reduced to only chaotic searches, seizure of property and funds.
… from December 2015 to April 2016, investigators, prosecutors … sent more than 50 petitions for searches to places of gambling business, residence of Yakubik to the Pechersky District Court of Kyiv
Based on the rulings of the investigating judges, from 01/16/2016 to 04/15/2016, the investigators of the Main Investigative Directorate and the Department conducted at least 18 searches:
… Upon completion of the searches, Sus or investigators and prosecutors, at the direction of Sus, without proper legal grounds, in the absence of contracts, transferred the seized property to unknown persons, their identities were not properly established, they were not verified, the data of these persons, the place of storage of material evidence in most search protocols was not contributed“.
At the court session, a witness was interrogated, who worked as a prosecutor of the prosecutor’s office of the city of Kyiv. Criminal proceedings on illegal gambling business were received in September 2016 and he was the senior prosecutor group. The witness said that he received the materials without material evidence. He did not see a judicial prospect in one episode of the case: the witnesses were interrogated formally, who was involved in the criminal activity was not established, and there was no material evidence that could be sent for examination.
Sus, as the head of the pre-trial investigation body, had to organize, check and be responsible for the safety of the seized property and material evidence.
At the meeting, he was asked if he knew about the order of the Prosecutor General, by which prosecutors were obliged to check the storage of material evidence twice a year, and the heads of pre-trial investigation bodies – once a quarter. Sus replied that he was not familiar with this order and added: “Our workers are divided into letter-eaters and walkers on the ground. I have walked the earth“.
Defendant Dmitry Sus tried to turn the arrows on the senior investigator of the GPU Sergei Pavlovsky, to whom he handed over the case on slot machines in February 2016 and accepted it without comment. The seized money, they say, was kept in a cardboard box in the premises of the Department and disappeared because Pavlovsky did not follow his instructions to transfer them as material evidence to the new body of pre-trial investigation – the State Fiscal Service. Sus frankly stated that Pavlovsky himself allegedly was unclean on his hand and could dispose of property.
Pavlovsky said at the hearing that although Sus appointed him head of the investigation team, he said that he himself would continue the investigation. And therefore, no case materials or valuables were handed over to him. In this proceedings, he conducted only one search, and in others, at the direction of Souss, he only compiled search protocols, that is, Souss carried out an investigative action, and for efficiency and convenience, he wrote down and recorded everything. Souss actually controlled the case, and all the other investigators in the Department, on his instructions, dealt with technical issues, such as preparing petitions for the court, generating certificates, compiling protocols, and so on. When he became a senior investigator in criminal proceedings, he communicated with Sus so that he would transfer all the materials of the case to him, but Sus replied that there was no difference, since he would only formally be a senior investigator. Concerning the material evidence, Sus told him that they were in different places and that he himself would collect them and then hand them over.
In general, it appears from Soos’ testimony that thefts during searches were not uncommon. He himself told the story that at the end of January 2016, he conducted a search at the Premier Palace, and the next day he was called by the Deputy Prosecutor General and gave him a flash drive, where there was a video from this search of a person stealing a tablet and a laptop: “packs it in a suitcase and leaves “. He was told to deal with the situation. On the same day, the director of the Premier Palace arrived in Sousse and promised “not to inflate anything,” but to give the laptop back, because there are important documents there. It turned out that the thief seemed to have been understood by the SBU, which had already managed to sell the laptop. After that, Sus sometimes played the video from this search to the officers and warned the investigators not to repeat this again.
But if the GPU still seemed to be trying to somehow fight against the disappearance of material evidence, it seems that they were perceived more calmly about the trade in them. Soos recalled how they once bought physical evidence from a casino.
– During a smoke break, Gutsulyak calls me … He says that we had a search at the casino Taras Bulba on Nivki. He says that there a person is ready to pay 20, he needs to return the property. Since that search, while we went in, they themselves damaged the tables, made them unusable. I told him: “Kazimirovich, or you should be given a bribe somewhere, because there is nothing to pay that kind of money for. There is some understanding of what is worth, not worth it. I say what the heck. “No, you look there, you figure it out there.”
But the next day, Gutsulyak said that the owners of the casino agreed with the investigator and everything was fine. Sus seemed to be very surprised and called the investigator Pavlovsky, and he, according to him, said that he had forgotten, but he really “five is already in a paper box under the table,” but he forgot to tell about it. Retelling this, Sus could not help laughing: “They gave Gutsulyak 20. Pavlovsky decided for the five. In the future, Sus suggested that Pavlovsky be fired altogether, but he was only demoted
Sus admits that they also wanted to buy the gaming equipment seized from the hotel and restaurant on Druzhby Narodiv Boulevard.
– In mid-April (2016), on the opera floor, one of the SBU approached me. He says: “Dima, I spoke with the owners of the casino. They are ready to pay five rubles every month so that we do not touch them and return things. If you give good. I tore Zubtsov and Pavlovsky, so that from the esbeush composition everything was copied according to the acts and it didn’t matter where, but so that he was not there. And in full moved to Belogorodka. Even then, confusion and vacillation began in order to return the property … He did not insist so much on the sale, but on the roof of the gambling business. There is an offer from the owners of the casino and in parallel we will protect them.
In the end, Dmitry Sus claims that this also happened in the high-profile case of the kidnapping of the ex-chairman of the board of Neftegazdobycha. Namely, that part of the materials of the case was “sold” to the suspect Yuriy Yerinyak, nicknamed Moldavan, who is considered the organizer of the kidnapping of Seminsky.
– Back in November 2016, Gutsulyak sold the Range Pover in this case. Erinyak’s property, Range Pover, cars were confiscated. They took half the business into this Range Pover invested. The property was returned through the Pechersk Court. Gave Range Pover and happily. And what is there to be surprised at slot machines, if there… We traded at the levels from and to.
All these amounts, which are indicated in the (indictment) act, are somehow not so interesting. I can make more money with my mind. With you, I can do it here… (after being fired from the GPU, he is engaged in cryptocurrency mining — ed.) I don’t need to rip anyone off. The world is not ideal, and if there were poorer people who broke through from rags to riches… Man is a weak creature. And if someone was blinded by money … Using the example of (Pavlovsky), he sold the casino for 5 thousand. Well?! There are people you can’t fix. I didn’t take any of these sums… I didn’t buy myself an apartment, nothing.
Casino cases, according to Soos, were not a priority for him, and since mid-February 2016, other investigators have been working there, because he worked in the so-called secret proceedings. “These are the ones that, roughly speaking, the Attorney General, the Deputy and I knew about. These are Kasko, Sakvarelidze, the allocation of aid – well, we called them grant-eaters, grantoid appropriation of funds, Saakashvili, Sytnik. At that time they were secret, no one knew what I was doing. Gutsulyak didn’t even know‘, he explained.
The judge states that Dmitry Sus was really involved in high-profile criminal cases, had significant experience and held high positions in the prosecutor’s office.
— How did you gain such confidence from your leadership? Judge Galabala asked
— Due to its impeccable reputation, probably. Thanks to the way I’ve handled cases before. No one in life… No, they didn’t find… Even the same case for Neftegazdobycha. NABU employees repeatedly came to Yerinyak, who organized the abduction, so that he would testify. They turned to the lawyer Fedur, who was the defender of Moldovan, so that he would give me something … There is a letter, you can see (Sus says, nodding at the judges’ table – ed.). I think it’s an indicator. If on the other side there was a person who spent a year in a pre-trial detention center through me … There was no negative even from them.
– How then is your impeccable reputation consistent with the fact that the criminal proceedings for which you were responsible disappeared somewhere the money that had the status of material evidence?
– By the time I handed over the case to Pavlovsky, I didn’t want to leave this place, that there was money. We did not have such a punishment to go somewhere to someone to complain, to initiate a case. We had an officer’s court and we resolved issues with thieves in a different way, and everyone knew that there was order. This money, I give you a guarantee that this money was … This money went specifically, my opinion, my conviction … He died … as they began to work with Pavlovsky. Maybe even after the searches he was gone. I don’t know. But I’m sure they were before they started squandering the case.
– Squander it? the judge asked.
– Sell Sus explained.
– And why did it happen that who decided to squander this business?
“Your Honor, what happened?” Maybe Sergei Maryanovich (Pavlovsky) is from a poorer family? Here you are surprised at the money … I know that he boasted that he dragged a microwave from somewhere. And you are surprised at 10 thousand dollars. Well, I do not know! Here the man is happy that he stole the microwave and the sofa home. His salary is a thousand dollars, 30 thousand hryvnia at that time.
– Who lured Pavlovsky from Khmelnitsky to Kyiv?
– In life, as on a long field. I lured Pavlovsky. I know what I did. I’m not going to shoot myself now.
– Why didn’t you cover all the tails? You knew that with your number of opponents or enemies, these questions might be asked. Why didn’t you sit down with your subordinates and say: “So, we went through each production and looked where they can ask me a question, and where everything is fine.” Did you have such an idea? Considering your extensive experience as an investigator, a professional lawyer?
“I don’t understand, with whom could I sit down?” With Pavlovsky, who wanted to “kill” me? There is the concept of “decommissioned pilot” …
– They like to hang a lot on “decommissioned pilots”. I think you understood that too. That you need to get perfectly clean from all situations.
– At that time I could not even imagine that they could ask me for a case that after me was investigated by two investigators … I didn’t think that someone would have the brain to take dragonflies and put them in my pocket … I just didn’t even begin to think in in this direction, what could it be… This is dust in the sea against the background of what I was investigating… NABU, wherever possible, was sifted in all my affairs with a sieve.
Dmitry Sus did not admit his guilt during the entire period of the investigation and trial. In his opinion, these criminal proceedings were the revenge of NABU, since his Department had earlier started investigating criminal proceedings against NABU, in particular, the head of the Bureau, Artem Sytnyk.
– I live a quiet life and find out that they want to kill me. This is the first time I’ve been in such a situation… Believe me, what was the social circle, you understand. I tell anyone: bring 10 thousand, 100 thousand, a million. Do you think they would not have brought 10 thousand dollars? I think they would have brought them if I said that I need them… It’s one thing when you are accompanied by “Alfa”, because somewhere there is a mythical threat, because somewhere Moldovan and I quarreled in a court session… And the second thing when they roll out a plan to you, bring it and tell you where everything should be done in detail. Where is the parents’ house, where is something else… It’s a little different here. Let them be thieves and bandits 300 times. But there is also a gangster code where you can’t cross and no one ever touches the family. We followed this code. In the Premier Palace, I saved Nedzelsky (ed. Andrey Nedzelsky, Nedelya is a crime boss, a thief in law). They were supposed to throw him off the roof. They took him out and saved the man’s life. Then he also did a favor… I was in India, I was on the train, they called me from Kyiv. We also had a case on Morda Lvovsky (Vova Morda – Lviv crime boss). It was already reported to Morda that we were to detain him and shoot him in the yard, and I gave such an order. I found out in India and dialed Nedzelsky, I say: “Andrey, I’m sorry that this is the situation. But Morda has already been informed that I must kill him. Let’s not kill me. Come on, I’ll come, because you are not the first in line who wants me. Let’s sit down and sort this out.” Believe me, there was anything, but not Yakubik with money.
The episode with Grandma’s AudiQ7 was filmed with Soos back in 2021, when the Constitutional Court ruled Article 366-1 of the Criminal Code unconstitutional.
The court also recognized the episode with the assignment of a DVR of an unidentified model as unfounded. Interrogated witnesses stated that Dmitry Sus came to the place of the search, but did not see him take anything out of the premises. At the same time, the defense provided information about telephone connections that Sus was not recorded at that address at all that day. The search report or other documents do not mention that he was present during this investigative action.
At the same time, the court clarified that this does not exclude the appropriation and use by Sus of the drive from this video recorder for recording and storing audio and video information from surveillance cameras in his office. On top of the video from the casino, the hard drive recorded events from Soos’s office.
All other accusations were found to be proven. The conclusion of the court notes that enrichment at the expense of the property confiscated during the search was a common business practice of an employee of the Prosecutor General’s Office.
In the end, Souss himself said that his colleagues seemed to behave as well. Namely, that another investigator allegedly sold the property for a fiver, and he, being the head, did not verify this fact, did not initiate an official investigation.
Based on the totality of episodes of the former GPU official sentenced to 9 years in prison with confiscation of property. For the purpose of preventive influence, he was banned from holding positions in courts, law enforcement agencies and the bar for 3 years.
Soos was not arrested in the courtroom. He remains at large until the verdict comes into force, having the opportunity to appeal the court’s decision.
Irina Saliy, translation Skeleton.Info
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