Ukraine’s High Anti-Corruption Court on November 27 set bail at $44,000 for Lviv Mayor Andriy Sadoviy, who is accused of abusing his office in a case involving construction of an industrial park, dispossessing land, and causing nearly $4 million in damages to the state.
If found guilty of abuse of office, he could be imprisoned for up to 6 years.
Sadoviy has five days to post bail and said he will appeal the ruling.
Prosecutors, who had asked for the bail amount to be nearly 50 times more, said they’ll also appeal.
The case originates in 2015 when Dutch developer CTP won rights from the city to build an industrial park on 23 hectares of land located on the outskirts of the city.
Sadoviy said Lviv, western Ukraine’s largest city with a population of approximately 800,000 people, received the equivalent today of $2.25 million for the land.
However, the mayor said from the outset there was resistance toward the project from the state government and prosecutor’s office.
Prosecutors allege that the land allotted for the project belonged to a neighboring village, not the city, and was zoned as agricultural, not industrial.
They allege Sadoviy along with several city council members misappropriated the land in Lviv’s favor although the city in 2017 signed a memorandum with the village to resolve the land dispute.
“The charges are pointless, the [city] budget received 52 million hryvnyas, what are the losses of 92 million hryvnyas? The budget was filled, taxes are being paid. Investments will be attracted,” Sadovyi said in Kyiv after the bail hearing.