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HOT ANTICORRUPTION NEWS / Issue #170
March 23, 2021
  
Today's issue:
 
- Cabinet of Ministers insists on political dismissal of NABU director;
- HACC judge refused to extend the terms of investigation against Pavlo Vovk;
- SBU attempts to disrupt the reform with harmful amendments; 
- MPs failed to return sufficient punishment for false declarations and want to water down reporting of political parties' financing;

- recommended reading
Cabinet of Ministers insists on political dismissal of NABU director

The Parliament registered a new version of governmental draft law No.5070 on the dismissal of the current director of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau Artem Sytnyk. The Cabinet of Ministers revoked the previous version of the draft on March 15 and submitted a new one. The new version already directly provides for the political dismissal of Sytnyk.

The draft law also provides for the selection of a new head of the Bureau, but the proposed procedure has major flaws and creates the basis for the selection of the politically dependant head of NABU. Moreover, dismissal by the adoption of this law equates the position of NABU director to any political position in the country and will mean that any subsequent director can also be dismissed by a parliamentary majority at any moment.
HACC judge refused to extend the terms of investigation against Pavlo Vovk
On March 17, Andriy Bitsiuk, judge of the High Anti-Corruption Court, refused to extend the terms of the investigation against notorious judge Pavlo Vovk and his associates. Notably, early that day the High Council of Justice enacted the disciplinary action against Bitsiuk. Consequently, the NABU announced opening case materials to the suspects. That means that the investigation will move to trial based on the evidence gathered prior to March 17.
SBU attempts to disrupt the reform with harmful amendments
The SBU attempts to thwart the reform with deliberate delay and disruption of voting using harmful amendments to the law on SBU reform. The SBU prepared detailed instructions for MPs on how exactly the law should be changed before the second reading in order to be suitable for the Service. The number of MPs registered those amendments with the Parliament. 
MPs failed to return sufficient punishment for false declarations and want to water down reporting of political parties' financing
The deadline for submission of electronic asset declarations of public officials for 2020 expires on March 31. On January 27, the President submitted draft law No.4651, which reinstates imprisonment term (up to  2 years) as a possible sanction for not declaring assets worth more than 4.54 mln UAH (approx.160,000 USD). However, the MPs failed to adopt the law prior to the declarations deadline. Thus, if the law is adopted later, it will not apply to declarations of 2020.
At the same time, MPs representing all Parliamenterian factions registered draft law No.5253. It will forbid the NAPC to stop state funding of a political party based on the Agency's conclusions on fictitious financial transactions found in a party's financial reports. Notably, the NAPC stopped state funding of Batkivshchyna, Holos, and Servant of the People parties in 2020-2021.
Recommended Reading 
Copyright © *2021* Anti-corruption Action Centre*, All rights reserved.

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

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