The CEO of Ukraine’s state-owned gas and oil company Naftogaz said on Friday that he would be willing to provide testimony to U.S. federal prosecutors currently investigating Rudy Giuliani’s foreign business dealings in the region.
“I will with a high likelihood be invited to testify in this case,” Naftogaz of Ukraine CEO Andriy Kobolyev said in an interview with Time. “If I am called, I would be willing to come and testify.”
As previously reported by Law&Crime, federal authorities are looking into whether Giuliani and his recently indicted business associates/clients, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, were attempting to leverage their political influence in Ukraine to land lucrative contracts with Naftogaz, the country’s state-owned oil and gas company.
Parnas and Fruman were arrested in October and charged for illegally funneling foreign political donations to Republican U.S. election candidates in violation of federal campaign finance laws. The two Soviet-born Florida businessmen were allegedly attempting to oust Kobolyev from his position at Naftogaz and have him replaced with someone more inclined to benefit them financially. This has previously been described as a “shakedown.”
Giuliani, who is reportedly suspected of violating federal campaign finance and federal lobbying laws through his work with Parnas and Fruman, has not been charged with a crime.
According to Time, federal authorities in the Southern District of New York plan to have Kobolyev — widely viewed an anti-corruption reformer — testify behind closed-doors about the efforts to replace him at Naftogaz.
Asked if he was going to provide evidence about Giuliani or about Parnas and Fruman, Kobolyev claimed to have relevant information about all of the above.
“Both,” Kobolyev responded. “Everything is connected,” he added.
Kobolyev would not divulge the exact nature of the information he was planning on giving prosecutors, saying, “I would not want to preempt my testimony.”
Giuliani declined to provide a comment on the report, though last week he told the Wall Street Journal that he had “no personal interest in any business in Ukraine, including that business.”
Giuliani previously confirmed that Parnas’s company, Fraud Guarantee, retained the services of his management and security firm, Giuliani Partners LLC, in August 2018. The deal reportedly enriched President Donald Trump’s personal attorney to the tune of $500,000.
[image via ABC News screengrab]