February 26, 2021
Today's issue:
- Unjust and politically motivated conviction of Serhii Sternenko asserts the crisis of judiciary in Ukraine;
- President Zelenskyi announces flawed judicial reform;
- How PG Venediktova lied during the hearings in the Parliament;
- NABU charges former top-managers of the Privatbank with embezzlement;

- recommended reading
Unjust and politically motivated conviction of Serhii Sternenko asserts the crisis of judiciary in Ukraine

On February 23, 2021, Prymorskyi District Court of Odesa found civic activist and blogger Serhii Sternenko and Ruslan Demchuk guilty in the case of abduction dated back to 2015. They were detained in the courtroom and sent to pre-trial detention center. Each was sentenced to seven years and three months of imprisonment with confiscation of half of their property.

There are serious doubts about fairness of consideration of the case of Serhii Sternenko. The persecution of Sternenko has political motives, and the judiciary didn’t follow principles of independence and impartiality when it considered the case. Please read the full statement of the CSOs on the matter for further details.

The case of Serhii Sternenko is an example of a systemic crisis in the judiciary and law enforcement system, the lack of public confidence in court decisions, and the deepening of confrontation between society and police. It puts on the agenda the need to continue initiated reforms, as well as personal political responsibility of heads of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Prosecutor General’s Office, who sabotage them.
President Zelenskyi announces flawed judicial reform
On February 15, the President registered draft law No.5068 with the Parliament. However, instead of guaranteeing a fair process of the relaunch of the High Council of Justice through a decisive voice of international or public experts, Zelenskyi's law gives the blocking power to the representatives of the tainted judiciary.
How PG Venediktova lied during the hearings in the Parliament
On February 18, PG Venediktova reported to the Verkhovna Rada on her work for the past year. We fact-checked her speech and found that she lied about her interference and blocking of the investigations of the important cases of Privatbank, Rotterdam+, and Tatarov. She showed the lack of understanding of the Criminal Procedure and basic respect to the human rights.
NABU charges former top-managers of the Privatbank with embezzlement
On February 22, the NABU charged three former top managers of Privatbank Volodymyr Yatsenko,Oleksandr Dubilet, and Olena Bychyhyna with embezzlement of 136 mln UAH. Yetsenko was detained during the attempt to flee the country. Two others are currently hiding abroad. Later Yatsenko was released on bail of 52 mln UAH. Also, the US Department of Justice temporarily suspended proceedings in the US in the Privatbank cases in order not to harm the investigation in Ukraine. 
Recommended Reading 
Copyright © *2020* Anti-corruption Action Centre*, All rights reserved.

Should you have any questions or comments please contact Tetiana Shevchuk at

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list