On January 15, the Executive Director of Transparency International Ukraine met with the High Anti-Corruption Court’s head, Olena Tanasevych, to discuss the court-related crisis.
According to Tanasevych, she visited the Kyiv Institute of Intellectual Property and Law at the Odesa Law Academy to discuss a series of online lectures for students with the university’s management.
Olena learned about the event on the spot. The judge also confirmed that she did attend an “informal meeting of the legal community” but did not communicate with Pavlo Vovk and Oleksandr Tupytskyi.
“The thing is that the judge must draw a line in the sand for themselves to avoid violations of ethical standards, prevent potential or actual conflicts of interest, and prevent any kind of offense. I have never crossed the line. I haven’t and couldn’t have any personal communication with these people,” Olena Tanasevych states.
During the meeting, however, Tanasevych did not provide evidence of a meeting with the university administration, including the official letters or the names of the meeting participants. Yet, the public needs these answers to defuse tension.
“The High Anti-Corruption Court is not just a ‘group’ of judges. It is the ‘place’ where justice is done to the high-profile suspects accused of corruption. I am convinced that the head of the court is the face of this organization. The actions, steps, statements, and behavior of the head of the court are under closer scrutiny in comparison to an ordinary judge,” notes Andrii Borovyk, the executive director of TI Ukraine. “It seemed to me that the head of HACC is aware of this. This case drew already enough attention, and now it’s time for the court to learn the lesson.”
TI Ukraine is convinced that the very fact that the head of such an essential anti-corruption institution is ready to explain her actions to the public is a positive sign. However, openness alone is not enough to have high confidence in the court. The establishment of the High Anti-Corruption Court took a lot of effort and time, and we are interested in ensuring that this institution is as impartial as possible and remains an example to other courts.
To learn the details of this story, please follow the link: http://bit.ly/TIU_Tanasevych_meeting