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Ukraine Parliament Strips Lawmaker Of Immunity Over Alleged Fraud

Ukraine’s parliament has stripped a lawmaker accused of misappropriating more than $60 million of his immunity.

The Verkhovna Rada on July 5 voted separately three motions to allow Oleksandr Onyshchenko’s prosecution, detention, and arrest.

“The real fight against corruption has started in Ukraine,” Tetyana Chornovol, a legislator from the People’s Front party of former Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, said after the vote.

Onyshchenko, a former member of ousted President Viktor Yanukovych’s party, has fled Ukraine.

He said on Facebook that he was in Austria.

He added that he feared for his life, saying “a lot of people from the government would not be very happy if I spoke.”

Onyshchenko is charged in a 1.6 billion hryvnia ($64 million) natural gas fraud at state energy company PAT Ukrhazvydobuvannya.

Clamping down on corruption is a focus of Prime Minister Volodymyr Hroysman’s government, which took power in April after delays in tackling the problem sparked resignations within the administration and sparked criticism from voters and international creditors.

Based on reporting by UNIAN and Bloomberg