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HOT ANTICORRUPTION NEWS / Issue #161
December 2, 2020
  
Today's issue:
 
- Razumkov appoints controversial working group to resolve constitutional crisis;
- Clash in Parliament over the renewal of criminal liability for lying in asset declarations;
- High Council of Justice attacks the judge of High Anti-corruption Court;
- One more draft law to strengthen SBU and sabotage its reform;

- recommended reading
Razumkov appoints controversial working group to resolve constitutional crisis

As a month passed from the beginning of the constitutional  Parliament did not manage to adopt the necessary legislation to return trust to Constitutional Court and restore anti-corruption regulations. Recently, the Speaker of the Parliament created a working group which should develop necessary draft laws. However, the composition of the group is quite controversial.

The working group is headed by the head of Law Enforcement Committee Denys Monastyrskyi. Deputy head of the group is Olga Sovgyria who is also nominated by the Servant of the People as a next CCU judge, so she would be acting is a conflict of interests. There are two members of the group who signed the constitutional appeal, which provoked the crisis. They are Taras Batenko (For the Future) and Antonina Slavytska (OPzZH). The latter recently took part in a bizarre demonstration in front of the US Embassy on November 24.
Clash in Parliament over the renewal of criminal liability for lying in asset declarations
Following the decision of CCU, it is crucial to reinstate the criminal liability for non-submission of asset declarations and submission of false information until the end of 2020. It will guarantee the functionality and proper submission of annual asset declarations in the next submission cycle which will take place in January-April 2021.
At the moment there are two main concepts of reinstating the criminal liability. On November 27, the President submitted draft law No.4434. However, on November 30, the heads of the Parliaments factions decided to support draft law No.4441 developed by MP Monastyrskyi's working group. The crucial difference between No.4434 and No.4441 is that the latter does not provide for imprisonment term as sanction for violation, the envisaged sanction is fine and/or public works. Introduction of imprisonment as a sanction for non-submission of declaration as well as false statement in declarations by top-level officials is a point of utmost importance as it has a deterrent effect and guarantees submission of declarations by all public officials. At this point it is a task of Law Enforcement Committee to support one of the draft laws.
High Council of Justice attacks the judge of High Anti-corruption Court
On November 16, the HCJ reprimanded the HACC judge Vira Mykhailenko for her actions in the bribery case allegedly given by the former minister Zlochevskyi. In fact, the HCJ did not have the right to check the judge's standing on material law. On November 30, the HACC's judges claimed that HCJ head Malovatskyi attempts to interfere with the case demanding immediate access to the case docket, which is still being considered by the court. 
One more draft law to strengthen SBU and sabotage its reform

The Parliament registered draft law No. 4392 on amendments to the Criminal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code, which should be a continuation of the draft law on the reform of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU). Contrary to previous promises, Members of Parliament do not define investigation as temporary function and want to allow the SBU to investigate corruption cases which are in the jurisdiction of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine.

Recommended Reading 
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Should you have any questions or comments please contact Tetiana Shevchuk at tshevchuk@antac.org.ua

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