Ukraine is losing its opportunity to demonstrate to the world the efficiency of its anti-corruption program. On the contrary, impunity of the grand corrupt officials of the previous regime and political pressure on the newly developed anti-corruption institutions is of great concern for the international community.
Just a year ago during the meeting, the president of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko and newly appointed the Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko mentioned a lot of promises. Those promises aimed to recover assets stolen during the Victor Yanukovych regime and by his associates, to foster the independent activity of anti-corruption institutins, to implement e-declaration for officials. The year of 2016 was a year of fake promises and poor results in the anti-corruption area.
The total amount of the stolen assets is still unknown. The approximate amount is about $7,5 up to $40 billion and these numbers only heat the feeling of inaction of our authority and lead to public disappointment.
A year has passed but nothing has been taken to establish the anti-corruption court. The only way to fight impunity is to establish this very court. The political pressure on the activity of the NABU is not acceptable. The draft Law # 6220 allows to close current proceedings if similar cases have been closed by any other institution before. That draft law also denies the Bureau the opportunity to investigate corruption cases against officials. Unfortunately, such a law cannot under any circumstances be adopted in Ukraine where the level of impunity is that high.
Moreover, attempts of the public authorities to appoint their auditor to NABU worries of the Transparency International.
This has been taking place in the greater context of pressure on the anti-corruption activists. It is a highly unconstructive step because after adopted amendments to the law of e-declaration for officials the activist had to declare their income. The dictatorship countries such as Venezuela, Mongolia and Tunisia encourage similar practices. We do not want Ukraine to join this sad list paying high price for society free of corruption.
During the international workshop on assets recovery, the General Prosecutor of Ukraine Yurii Lutsenko supported the TI idea to establish the open registry of top corrupt investigations during the Yanukovych regime. The public access should be done through official Prosecutor General’s site and contain the general information about all the proceedings by the procuratorial bodies. Also, there should be information, namely, legal qualification and matters of offences, the total damage, the quantity of seized assets and the results of those investigations and the decisions adopted. That registry can be launched right now as there is already similar one maintained by the General Prosecutor handled the cases of the participants of the Revolution of Dignity.
Transparency International and its chapter in Ukraine are ready to contribute to international contacts between Ukrainian law-enforcement agencies and foreign institutions which can be useful for investigations and assets recovery.