October 6, 2018

Today's issue:
- real estate worth 200 million UAH, Russian passports and 200 deaths: secrets of the head of the SBU Economic Counterintelligence - breaking journalistic investigation;
- law enforcement officers' declarations: consideration of AntAC's lawsuit against SBU postponed; MPs want to release officers from submitting open declarations - once again; 

- criminal case against SAPO head is investigated by the SBU;  
- new provocations against NABU; 
- top 5 loud disclosures by the Prosecutor General; 

- longread on 55 attacks on activists discloses secrets of the head of the SBU economic counterintelligence journalists found out that family of Serhii Semochko, former head of the Security Service of Ukraine's (SBU) Economic Counterintelligence unit, and current deputy head of the Foreign Intelligence Service, owns real estate worth over 7 million USD, his relatives have Russian passports and business in Crimea. Previously the counterintelligence unit under Semochko's leadership disrupted procurements of dialysis due to company's unwillingness to pay kickbacks, which led to deaths of  not less than 200 people. Full text of the investigation, the video has subtitles. 
Law enforcement officers' declarations:
new efforts to hide 
Court postponed consideration of AntAC's lawsuit regarding classification of SBU's declarations

To make declarations of officials like Semochko public, for 1,5 years AntAC has been suing against the SBU. On October 24 the Supreme Court will consider once again our cassation appeal in the case of classifying asset declarations of SBU leadership and employees. We believe that there is the conspiracy between the NACP and the SBU in order to postpone this trial. More details
MPs want to release officers from submitting open declarations - once again

In the meantime, in order to legitimise SBU's classification of declarations and actually extend the scheme on other law enforcement bodies, the Verkhovna Rada registered the draft law No. 9148. It would allow unlimited number of employees of law enforcement agencies to submit classified declarations instead of open ones, to parallel closed systems and therefore avoid both declarations verification as well as any liability. Detailed explanation of the threats. 
Criminal case against SAPO head Nazar Kholodnytsky is investigated by the SBU

SBU is investigating criminal proceeding into actions of Kholodnytsky, specifically incitement of the witness to provide false testimony and disclosure of investigation info. The episode concerning interference into court's work was somehow left aside without any explanations. 

Despite the evidence collected by NABU against Kholodnytsky, the Prosecutor General deliberately forwarded the case to the SBU in attempt to shift public responsibility regarding the investigation. Nevertheless, according to the Law, signing of the suspicion to Kholodnytsky is exclusively in the jurisdiction of the Prosecutor General. Moreover, the procedural guidance in this case remains in the jurisdiction of the PGO. More details
German Ambassador to Ukraine Ernst Reichel in the interview to KyivPost: Ukraine also took “a step back” because Nazar Kholodnytsky, the head of the SAPO, has a “contested reputation and does not have the trust of those who care most about anti-corruption.” “If we had such an institution in Germany, and similar information in Germany, that person would one way or another not be in office.” 
New provocations against NABU director Sytnyk
On Monday October 1 morning numerous advertisements appeared all over Kyiv metro, announcing NABU's chief Artem Sytnyk's participation in the Rada anticorruption committee hearing on October 3 in order "to reveal top corrupt officials". NABU commented it was a provocation. 

When Sytnyk arrived to the Parliament, a rally led by provocateur Filimonenko was waiting outside. Some "protesters" were holding these same metro posters and simultaneously called on Sytnyk to "stop doing PR."

During a hearing, NABU director hinted that Poroshenko's block MP Sergiy Berezenko stands behind the 'advertisement' campaign, while the first deputy head of the SBU 
Pavlo Demchyna – behind the rally near the Rada.

Sytnyk also informed that the auditing commission still hasn’t started its work, though NABU is open to provide them with all the necessary information. 
More details about the hearing. 
Top 5 loud disclosures by the Prosecutor General

Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko was called “PR Prosecutor” long time ago. In pursuit of loud statements Lutsenko either discloses undercover agents, or uncovers important information regarding the case, or informs suspects about searches.

As a result, the investigation of scandalous cases and real punishment of their subjects are under the threat. Moreover, the Prosecutor General himself does not take responsibility for what he has said. AntAC collected known cases when Lutsenko publicly disclosed details of top-corruption cases and analyzed their consequences. More details

Attacks on activists: longread
Kateryna Gandzyuk's friends and attorneys of the attacked activists gathered and sent to the Ukrayinska Pravda information about 55 attacks on public activists that had happened since the beginning of 2017. All of them have not been solved, their instigators are not found, and investigations themselves continue to be sluggish or do not go on at all.

Longread about all the attacks. 
In the meantime, the assaults continue. On October 4, as Kyiv city council member Sergiy Gusovsky finished speaking at a rally, a crowd hurled green antiseptic at his eyes and tried to assault him. He is suffering from chemical burns in both eyes. Piece by Josh Cohen for the Atlantic Council on attacks against activists. 

Ukraine: Address Attacks against Activists and Human Rights Defenders. Joint statement by top international human rights organizations Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Freedom House, and Frontline Defenders.

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