“THE CASE OF KHOLODNYTSKYI” IS THE CHANCE FOR THE ANTI-CORRUPTION SYSTEM TO PROVE ITS CAPABILITY AND READINESS FOR REFORM

The accusation of Head of the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office Nazar Kholodnytskyi is posing a challenge to the newly created law enforcement agencies. At the same time, it is an opportunity for the NABU, the SAP and the Prosecutor General’s Office to demonstrate objectivity, independence, loyalty to the spirit and letter of the law and capability to investigate complicated crimes without intentional delaying. TI Ukraine urges the parties to ensure that the investigation process is legal and to refrain from politization.

Transparency International Ukraine closely follows the events around Deputy Prosecutor General – Head of the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office Nazar Kholodnytskyi. Leaking confidential information, pressuring judges and persuading witnesses to provide false testimony are evidently unacceptable actions for the head of an agency which fights against corruption. Therefore, before making the details of the investigation concerning Nazar Kholodnytskyi public, we believe that the Prosecutor General’s Office and the NABU should have obtained hard evidence. If there is indeed such evidence against the Head of the SAP, it should help the Qualification and Disciplinary Commission of Public Prosecutors (QDCP) to inspect his activity without unfounded delays. 

At the same time, we urge both the QDCP members and the staff members of the Prosecutor General’s Office tasked with the proceeding concerning Nazar Kholodnyskyi to maintain the process legally impeccable. Otherwise, the investigation concerning the current head of the SAP will be perceived by the Ukrainian society and international partners as an instance of interagency competition, as well as politization and immaturity of anti-corruption agencies. Politicians who have, at various points, been investigated by the SAP and the NABU are already using the situation to undermine the entire anti-corruption reform which started after the Revolution of Dignity. “The case of Kholodnytskyi” is now being made out to attest to the futility of efforts to build the anti-corruption infrastructure overall and to launch the Anti-Corruption Court in particular. 

We are convinced that the NABU, the SAP and the Prosecutor General’s Office should come out of this situation stronger in the end. Objective review of the case by the QDCP and the investigation of the criminal proceeding must prove that anti-corruption agencies are capable of reform. We hope that the investigation will not affect constructive cooperation between SAP prosecutors and NABU detectives.