December 21, 2018

Today's issue:
- Bullough, Fukuyama, Kessler and Shalaiskyi joined the AntAC Supervisory Board;
- EU-Ukraine Association Council on the attacks against activists;
- EU visa report: credibility and independence of SAPO must be re-established;
- illegally appointed NABU auditor Zhebrivskyi resigned;
- Nasirov filed a lawsuit against the doctor who testified in his criminal case, the court rejected the claim;
- confiscation of Lazarenko’s money: the US wants to make it to elections in Ukraine - DW;
- top 5 reformers and top 5 anti-reformers of the year - Kyivpost;
- almost half a year passed and the police declared the man who attacked Shabunin wanted;
- update in the case against Shabunin;
- recommended reading

AntAC Supervisory Board
AntAC is very honoured to announce that British journalist and author Oliver Bullough, American philosopher and political economist Francis Fukuyama, Italian lawyer and prosecutor Giovanni Kessler, and editor-in-chief of Nashi Groshi website, journalist-investigator Oleksa Shalaiskyi joined our Supervisory Board. 

We look forward to maximising our joint efforts in promoting fairness and justice in Ukraine! More about our Supervisory Board members. 
EU-Ukraine Association Council:
The EU and Ukraine agreed on the need to protect journalists and civil society activists against violent attacks and deeply regretted the recent incidents and threats. In order to prevent such attacks from reoccurring, the Association Council stressed the importance of stepping up efforts to bring those responsible to justice, including those standing behind the tragic death of Kateryna Handziuk. Full text
EU visa report

The European Commission issued the 2nd report under the visa suspension mechanism. It contains 7 recommendations for Ukraine, among which are the following:
- re-establish the independence and credibility of the Specialised Anti-Corruption Prosecution;

- ensure the independence, effectiveness and sustainability of the anti-corruption institutional framework, including by ensuring that the High Anti-Corruption Court swiftly becomes fully operational and that the Public Council of International Experts can adequately play its role in the selection process;
- establish a fully functioning system for the verification of asset declarations, notably by ensuring automated access to all remaining registers and databases, in order to produce a convincing track-record of effectively verified declarations;
- urgently repeal the amendments extending the scope of asset declarations to civil society and ensure that civil society can play its role without undue interference. 

The full report and the Commission staff working document accompanying the report. 
Illegally appointed NABU auditor Zhebrivskyi resigned

Pavlo Zhebrivskyi, appointed by the President Poroshenko as NABU auditor, sent a resignation letter to the Presidential Administration on November 15.

On December 19, Zhebrivskyi considered himself free from the duties. 

He explained that the decision was made due to the fact the Parliament failed to adopt the necessary legislation to ensure the work of NABU auditors. Particularly, he stressed that the Rada ignored the need to adopt documents and regulations, approve procedures and allocate budget. According to him, the required drafts and proposals had been developed and sent to the respective authorities.

Earlier, activists requested the Supreme Court to nullify the appointment of Zhebrivskyi due to the lack of experience in law enforcement or judicial bodies abroad or in international organizations as required by law, but the court refused.

Nasirov filed a lawsuit against the doctor who testified in his criminal case, the court rejected

Roman Nasirov filed a lawsuit against the doctor Maksym Sokolov who testified in the criminal case regarding his corruption.  When Nasirov was detained by NABU in March 2017 he was diagnosed an allegedly severe disease at the state clinic for political elites "Feofania".

Doctor Sokolov denied the diagnosis. Unjustly reinstated tax administration chief claimed that information about his health condition was revealed without his consent. Nasirov demanded a 1 million UAH compensation. Fortunately, the trial court rejected Nasirov's claim.

Confiscation of Lazarenko’s money: the US wants to make it to elections in Ukraine - DW

Former Prime Minister of Ukraine Pavlo Lazarenko delays negotiations with the US Department of Justice regarding the amount of his arrested money which he is going to give back voluntarily.

Americans are worried about this due to forthcoming elections in Ukraine - if all legal procedures are not completed before the presidential elections, neither the US nor Ukraine might get Lazarenko’s money. Full text.
Top 5 reformers and top 5 anti-reformers of the year by Oleg Sukhov, Kyivpost
The Kyivpost's Oleg Sukhov names 5 reformers of the year: assassinated activist Kateryna Handziuk, judge-whistleblower Larysa Golnyk, co-chair of the Public Integrity Council Halyna Chyzhyk, PGO prosecutor who investigates crimes against the Revolution of Dignity participants Sergiy Horbatiuk, and NACP whistleblower Hanna Solomatina.

He also named 5 anti-reformers of 2018: President Petro Poroshenko, Interior Minister Arsen Avakov, Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko, SAPO Head Nazar Kholodnytskyi and Head of the Qualification Commission of Judges Sergiy Kozyakov. More details
Almost half a year passed and the police declared the man who attacked Shabunin wanted
Though Shabunin himself caught an attacker who poured green antiseptic in his face near the SAPO during the rally in July, and we established his identity, the police soon released Rostyslav Fedorko even without issuing him an administrative protocol. Moreover, afterwards he came to the rally "The Night On Bankova" and filmed there. Five months after the incident, when Fedorko finally fled, he was suddenly declared wanted.  
Update in the case against Shabunin
In the meantime, over the week two court hearings were held in the case against Vitaliy Shabunin regarding a punch of a bully-blogger Vsevolod Filimonenko. Two journalists who were present near the enlistment office, where the incident happened, testified.
They explained that Filimonenko did not behave as a journalist, refused medical care after the punch, and used gas spray against Shabunin when there was no danger around. 
We would like to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! We hope 2019 will be fruitful and successful for the Ukrainian reforms. We are grateful to the international partners for your consistent support and help in making Ukraine a real success story and a role model for other countries!
Please, be informed that unless something extraordinary happens (we hope it won't) we take a break with our Hot Anticorruption News till January 18 ;)
Recommended reading
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