Ukraine MP being investigated for taking family holiday in Maldives amid Russian invasion

11 months ago 16

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Ukrainian authorities are reportedly conducting an investigation to determine whether a member of parliament violated the law by taking a family holiday to the Maldives.

Earlier in January this year, the Ukrainian president banned officials from travelling abroad for non-governmental purposes.

The security service has initiated a criminal case to ascertain whether member of parliament, Yuriy Aristov provided false information to the authorities. He faces up to three years in prison if convicted.

During a video address in January, Volodymyr Zelensky said: “Ignoring the war is a luxury that no one can afford.”

He added: “There is a principled decision of the NSDC [National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine] on officials travelling abroad. It applies to all officials of the central government and various other levels of local government. It applies to law enforcers, people’s deputies, prosecutors and all those who are supposed to work for the state and in the state. If they want to rest now, they will rest outside the civil service. Officials will no longer be able to travel abroad for vacation or for any other non-governmental purpose.”

Mr Aristov is accused of providing false information while applying to leave the country. He reportedly went on a family vacation to the Maldives.

The MP reportedly told authorities he was going on sick leave. But investigations found that Mr Aristov had been on the private island of Ithaafushi in the Maldives in mid-July with his wife and children.

The State Bureau of Investigation and the Security Service of Ukraine have opened a criminal case against him.

Mr Aristov was abroad from 5 June to 22 July, during which he embarked on a three-day business trip to Poland before being observed in the Maldives by Ukrainian media.

Kyiv Independent said that he was first spotted in the luxurious 5-star Waldorf Astoria Maldives hotel on the private island in mid-July.

An investigation by the Ukrainian outlet, revealed that Mr Aristov had indeed been a guest at the Maldives resort after the hotel confirmed. However, by the time they received the inquiry, he had already checked out.

The accommodation costs at this exclusive resort vary significantly – starting from 100,000 hryvnias [$2,600] and reaching 323,000 hryvnias [$8,800] for a single night. Additionally, there is a premium villa option that surpasses one million hryvnias per night [$26,700], according to local media.

In response to the publication of the investigation, Mr Aristov promptly resigned from his position as a people’s deputy. Parliament speaker Ruslan Stefanchuk made the announcement of his resignation on Facebook.

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