Ukraine is losing its opportunity to demonstrate to the world the efficiency of its anti-corruption program. On the contrary, impunity of the top corrupt officials of the previous regime and political pressure on the newly developed anti-corruption institutions is a great concern for the international community. These conclusions were announced by the Chair of Transparency International, Jose Ugaz.
2016 was a year of fake promises and poor results in the sphere of anti-corruption, according to Yaroslav Yurchyshyn, Executive Director in Transparency International Ukraine. This happened because a year before, during the meeting of the Chair of Transparency International Jose Ugaz and the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, and the newly appointed Prosecutor General Yurii Lutsenko, a lot of promises were made, including recovery of assets of the former president Yanukovych and his counterparts, facilitation of the independent performance of the anti-corruption institutions, implementation of electronic declaration for officials.
“There is no case in a court against Yanukovych, the most famous corrupt official in the world, according to the poll result conducted by Unmask the Corrupt, that directly deals with corruption offences. The total amount of stolen money is still unknown; but the sums is approximately $7,5 billion up to $40 billion. It seems that officials and the authorities do not perform well and despond on the community. The previous year had passed, but there was any action to develop the anti-corruption court. Such a court is the only opportunity to break the cycle of impunity,” said the Chair of Transparency International Jose Ugaz.
In his opinion, the political pressure that is currently put on the National Anti-Corruption Bureau is unacceptable. “The draft law #6220 allows proceedings on cases that were already closed by another institution to be closed by the other institution, the Bureau, in order to investigate corruption activities of high-ranking officials. Such a law should not permit the impunity regime that, unfortunately, exists in Ukraine,“ underlined Jose Ugaz. Attempts of the regime to force in a person under their control on the post of the auditor of NABU. “All of this unravels on the background of pressure on public anti-corrupters, Jose Ugas believed. The adopted amendments to the law on electronic declaration of officials’ property that oblige anti-corrupters to declare is considered a very negative step. This kind of practice exists in It would be a pity for Ukraine to join a list of countries ruled by dictators, such as Venezuela, Mongolia, Tunis,” the Chair of Transparency International concluded.
During the international workshop on the recovery of stolen assets, the Prosecutor General of Ukraine Yurii Lutsenko supported the proposition of TI to develop an open register of investigations against the grand corruption of the Yanukovych regime. This register has to be accessed publicly through the official Web-site of the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine and includes the general information about all proceedings conducted by the prosecution offices: legal qualification and stories of the offences, sums of the damages caused, amount of assets seized and information on the achieved results of these investigations, as well as on the decisions. According to Andrii Sliusar, the head of TI Ukraine’s focus-area the fight against grand corruption, such a register can be opened immediately, on the model of the analogue maintained by the Prosecutor General’s Office for several years that considers the course of cases against the participants of the Revolution of Dignity. “We will monitor Prosecutor General’s Office and their actions aimed to open a similar register and we ask the representatives of the media to monitor this issue with us”, commented Andrii Sliusar.
On their part, the global network of Transparency International and its chapter in Ukraine are ready to facilitate international contacts between Ukrainian law enforcement agencies and foreign institutions that may be helpful in investigations and cases on assets recovery of the previous regime on a high level.
Transparency International Ukraine is a chapter of global anti-corruption network Transparency International with offices in more than 100 countries. TI Ukraine’s mission is to reduce corruption in Ukraine promoting transparency, accountability and integrity of public authorities and civil society.