Slava Ukraini audit to be finished next week at the latest

Kristo Tohver.
Kristo Tohver. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

The in-house audit of NGO Slava Ukraini, first launched in March, will be finished by the end of next week at the latest. Whether it will be shared with the public is up to the nonprofit's supervisory board to decide, its chairman Kristo Tohver said.

The Slava Ukraini audit, following suspicions of funds misuse, was first launched on March 10 and has been in the works since. The audit is being carried out in two parts. It was first determined which documents still exist, which were then examined based on what kind of transaction they reflected.

Tohver said the audit will be finished by late next week, after which its conclusions will be presented to the Slava Ukraini general meeting that will be convened to discuss its findings. The general meeting will decide when the results will be made public.

Tohver said that the audit is focusing on transactions made as part of the projects "Lootuse jõulud" (Christmas of Hope), "Guerilla kiirabid" (Guerilla Ambulances) and "1000 kangelast lumest" (1,000 Heroes of Snow), as well as all other transactions tied to IC Construction and AFV. Its goal is to determine which documents still exist and whether they are in accordance with Estonian laws, customs and regulations.

It turned out in April that NGO Slava Ukraini has transferred €1.5 million in donations from people in Estonia to a Ukrainian private company called IC Construction, which was tied to its Ukrainian partner, probably had a fictitious owner and the only business activity of which was tied to the Estonian nonprofit. The firm reported a profit of €250,000 last year.

Slava Ukraini executive manager Johanna-Maria Lehtme received great recognition in Estonia for her activities and was elected to the Estonian parliament in the ranks of the Eesti 200 party as its most successful candidate.

The Ukrainian National Bureau of Investigation launched a pretrial investigation on March 24, with criminal proceedings brought based on the sections of embezzlement and use of humanitarian aid and charitable donations for profit. The case is being investigated by the National Bureau of Investigation because of the involvement of state officials.

The Estonian prosecution said on May 9 that it has launched an investigation of its own to get to the bottom of the NGO's use of funds. Proceedings are based on the section of embezzlement. Lehtme was recalled from the Slava Ukraini board the same day.

She announced on May 19 her decision to resign from the Riigikogu.


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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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