You definitely hear at least something about the High Anti-Corruption Court every day. But do you know enough about the court itself? Would you like to know more? We have collected 12 facts about the High Anti-Corruption Court for you.
- The High Anti-Corruption Court is a high specialized court specializing in cases on corruption, money laundering, declaration of false information, etc. Justice is administered by 38 judges (one position remained vacant). The court handles only the cases investigated by the NABU under the procedural guidance of the SAPO.
- The country most associated with the High Anti-Corruption Court is Uganda. Because the idea of the Court was not taken seriously at first. In 2017, President Poroshenko was so reluctant to have the Court operating that he compared Ukraine to Uganda, where they have such a court.
- When the idea of an independent Anti-Corruption Court was not very popular yet, in 2016, opinion leaders spoke in favor of its launch, because they didn’t trust the judicial system and wanted to put an end to impunity of corrupt officials. Among them were singer Sviatoslav Vakarchuk, writer Serhii Zhadan and even Patriarch Filaret!
- The selection to the High Anti-Corruption Court was very careful and strict to ensure that only candidates of the highest integrity become anti-corruption judges. Apart from the High Qualification Commission of Judges, for the first time, international experts were involved — the Public Council of International Experts. 342 candidates applied to the HACC. Among the 113 candidates who reached the interview stage, about a half were rather questionable, according to our analysis.
- There were 1925 (!!!) amendments to the Law “On the High Anti-Corruption Court.” TI Ukraine’s lawyers analyzed them and provided their recommendations.
- Anti-corruption judges were one step away from having 3,500 corruption cases from regular courts dumped on them. This would have paralyzed the work of the court. However, eventually, only cases under the jurisdiction of the NABU and the SAPO remained.
- The Court started accepting NABU-SAPO cases on September 5, 2019. So the first anniversary is coming soon, in a month! By the way, the launch of the High Anti-Corruption Court was a story that dragged on and on from as early as 2016, when the judicial reform started. This is how we fought for it: http://bit.ly/37IF87N http://bit.ly/accpolebytvy
- First, the HACC received buildings that would take at least two years to renovate. The premises were inadequate even for storage of cases, to say nothing of administering justice. Later, however, the High Anti-Corruption Court moved to the premises of Pecherskyi District Court. After that — to a facility from the Deposit Guarantee Fund. And then in 2020, the Parliament decided to give it a building formerly belonging to Antonov plant. It is yet unclear when they will move there.
- The High Anti-Corruption Court is constantly on the news because it handles truly high-profile cases. Those include the case of the notorious Kyiv Administrative Court, of former Head of Fiscal Service Nasirov, of the buried jars of judge Chaus and the “amber” case. Currently, the HACC is handling 172 criminal proceedings.
- The first verdict was about judge Ponunsia, who failed to file her electronic declaration. They have reached 14 decisions total so far.
- It took the High Anti-Corruption Court 10 minutes to read Nasirov’s indictment. Before the case was transferred to the HACC, it was tried by Shevchenkivskyi District Court of Kyiv. There, the judge allowed the reading of the full text of indictment of 774 pages. This continued for two years and never ended.
- As of August 2020, the High Anti-Corruption Court has two decisions where they “put somebody in prison”: an oblast council member was sentenced to 5 years in prison with confiscation, an Odesa judge has received 7 years behind bars.
What fun facts do you remember?