June 2, 2020
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Today's issue:
- Last week's astonishing evidence of lawlessness and police brutality as a result of Avakov's failure to reform the police;
- NGOs call for the real judicial reform and relaunch of HCJ;
- PG Iryna Venediktova starts public conflict with SAPO's head Nazar Kholodnytskyi;
- ARMA initiates legal amendments aimed at intervening in Privatbank's litigation abroad;
- MPs attempt to rollback the prosecution reform;
- Invitation to Zero Corruption Talk on healthcare reform and COVID-19 response;

- recommended reading
Last week's astonishing evidence of lawlessness and police  as a result of Avakov's failure to reform the police

Last week Ukraine was shocked with a series of news on police brutality, rape and torture in police department, corruption and backing of criminals. However, they are not random events coinciding in time, but systematic evidence of the desperate need for the real police reform and the resistance of Minister of Interior Arsen Avakov to bring changes.

Avakov himself is the main obstacle for police reform as he refuses to bare political responsibility of police problems, but covers up violations and corruption. Instead, he receives more powers and funding that, for instance, allows him to create secret departments.
On 23 May, two policemen four hours tortured a man and tortured and raped a young woman in the police department in town Kagarlyk (Kyiv region). The victim was attacked after being illegally detained. The proper investigation was started only after public outcry following the information about the abuse. Police officials promised to fire the policemen and disband a police department. However, locals testify that this is prevalent situation in that police department.
On May 25, neer a hundred perpetrators were involved in a shootout at a shuttle bus parking lot in the town of Brovary just outside Kyiv.  Media reports that the shootout was a part of business conflict. Allegedly, some of the police officers were backing one of the armed groups.
President Zelenskiy did not criticize Avakov for the situation within the police forces. On June 1, he appointed Avakov to the National Anti-corruption Council instead of AntAC's head of Board Vitaliy Shabunin. Meantime, Holos faction initiated the vote for the dismissal of Minister of Interior.
NGOs call for the real judicial reform and relaunch of HCJ

Prominent NGOs working on the judicial reform issued a statement calling for the immediate launch of the judicial reform and reboot of the High Council of Justice, which is the major obstacle to cleansing and renewal of the judiciary. Activists also presented the updated "Register of the High Council of Justice Failures”, which is a collection of cases when judges were put under pressure for disobeying the politicized system and impunity of those who actually put pressure on judges. 

PG Iryna Venediktova starts public conflict with SAPO's head Nazar Kholodnytskyi

On March 26, PG Iryna Venediktova issued a video statement criticizing the work of Specialized Anti-corruption Prosecutor's Office. She claimed that they do not deliver the result and fail certain investigations. The same day all SAPO prosecutors issued the statement rebutting Vennedictova's arguments. Moreover, they insisted that she blocks the notice of suspicion for acting MP for three months.

The conflict is significant in the light of expiring mandate of SAPO's head Nazar Kholodnytskyi. His position will be vacant starting from December 2020. However, on May 26, MP Oleksandr Kachura from Servant of the People initiated preliminary dismissal of Kholodnytskyi. If they succeed, prior to the election of new SAPO head, his powers will be temporarily transferred to Vennediktova, meaning she will have a chance to take control over SAPO.
ARMA initiates legal amendments aimed at intervening in Privatbank's litigation abroad

MPs supported the draft law 3304, which creates risks of abuse by the Assets Recovery and Management Agency (ARMA) in litigations abroad.  The main danger of the draft is that it is so vague, does not contain detailed procedures and algorithms. For instance, ARMA will be able to intervene in existing litigations initiated by Privatbank abroad. Please read more on the dangers of the draft law in Daria Kaleniuk's blog.

Invitation to Zero Corruption Talk on healthcare reform and COVID-19 response

We are pleased to invite you to an online panel discussion Zero Corruption Talk: Transparent and Accountable Healthcare System in Ukraine for times of COVID-19, which will take place on June 3, at 15.00 (Kyiv time). This discussion is part of a series of policy talks preceding Zero Corruption Conference. More information is available here.

Recommended Reading 
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