Anti-Corruption Organizations Appeal Against the Decision to Appoint Pavlo Zhebrivskyi as the NABU Auditor

Ukrainian chapter of the global anti-corruption network Transparency International, Anti-Corruption Action Centre, and NGO “Automaidan” have registered a claim against the President of Ukraine. The anti-corruption organizations appeal to the Supreme Court to cancel the Presidential decree on appointing Pavlo Zhebrivskyi a member of the auditing committee for the National Anti-Corruption Bureau.

The appointment of Pavlo Zhebrivskyi violates the law “On the National Anti-Corruption Bureau”. It is stated so in the claim that was sent to the Administrative Court of Cassation of the Supreme Court on June 27. The claim provides the line of reasoning why the member of the auditing committee for NABU appointed by the President does not meet the criteria envisaged by the job description for this position.

In particular, Pavlo Zhebrivskyi lacks sufficient experience of work in pretrial proceeding bodies, prosecution, foreign courts, or international organizations. Membership in the Ukrainian Parliamentary Delegation to OSCE, declared by Mr Zhebrivskyi, cannot be considered as such. OSCE does not have regular pretrial proceeding bodies, prosecution, or courts. The appointed committee member lacks corresponding experience in Ukrainian pretrial proceeding bodies either. Brief work in prosecution is not a “significant experience”.

Yaroslav Yurchyshyn, Executive Director of Transparency International Ukraine, said, “The President failed to use an opportunity to appoint a respected international expert, experienced in law-enforcement body auditing, as a member of the committee. It is regretful, but this is his right and his choice. However, we insist that all provisions of the law should be fulfilled and all committee members should meet the criteria.”

AntAC, TI Ukraine and Automaidan are firm that the work of this person within the auditing committee of NABU threatens the independent and effective work of the Bureau. The committee is authorized to perform significant functions and its members are allowed to receive confidential information on the course of investigation and interview NABU officers. Based on the committee conclusions, the Parliament may vote dismissal of the Director of NABU. AntAC, TI Ukraine and Automaidan believe that a person that lacks expertise stipulated by the law cannot objectively evaluate the work of detectives and management of NABU.

“Illegal appointment of Mr Zhebrivskyi as an auditor of NABU questions the audit in whole. The authority of this auditor is easily appealed in court, and therefore the whole audit as well,” said Vitalii Shabunin, Head of Board of AntAC, ‘We cannot allow the audit of NABU become a means of reprisals against an anti-corruption body that is hated by many politicians.”

Therefore, the organizations appeal to the Supreme Court to acknowledge the Presidential Decree No. 169/2018 “On appointing a member of the external auditing committee for the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine” of June 19, 2018 as illegal, and cancel it.