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HOT ANTICORRUPTION NEWS / Issue #88
February 1, 2019
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Today's issue:
 
- anticorruption agenda for presidential candidates;
- anticorruption court: what's next?;
- SBU ceased criminal proceeding regarding SAPO's Nazar Kholodnytskyi;
- Tymoshenko’s American lobbyists: AntAC demands that criminal proceeding against the Member of Parliament is opened;
- RFE/RL: preelection dismissal at Ukraine's public broadcaster sparks outcry;
- Kateryna Handziuk's father names the instigators of her murder;
- recommended reading

 
Anticorruption agenda for presidential candidates
Ukrainian voters stated that corruption is one of the three most significant problems in Ukraine.

The greatest threat, in their opinion, is grand political corruption, according to more than 90% of Ukrainians. 

Leading civil society organisations call on presidential candidates to present their proposals for solving the most critical problems of the state anti-corruption policy:

- Failure of management of the National Agency on Corruption Prevention to ensure fulfilment of the institution's functions;

- Complete loss of credibility of the leadership of the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office;

- Permanent attacks of the political elite on the National Anti-Corruption Bureau;

- Transformation of the part of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) into the tool and the provider of corruption. 

We call on all presidential candidates to publicly state their vision of overcoming the challenges mentioned above. As for us, we are ready to take part in discussions. Full text of the statement. 

Presidential candidates Volodymyr Zelenskyi, Dmytro Hnap and Andriy Sadovyi already voiced their support for the agenda. The CSOs members are meeting with Anatoliy Hrytsenko on Monday, February 4 for a discussion. 

AntAC initiates meetings with the candidates who, according to the sociological surveys, pass a 3% threshold and did not vote for the dictatorship laws on January 16, 2014.

 

On January 28, the Public Council of International Experts voted to veto two more questionable candidates who ran for the anticorruption court. In total, 42 out of 113 candidates stopped competing. 

From now on, the High Qualification Commission of Judges will have the discretion to rank the candidates from the pool of remaining 71 competitors and will offer the High Council of Justice the shortlist of at least 35 - maximum 39 people. The High Council of Justice has a right to reject the appointment of any candidate if it could negatively affect public trust in the judiciary. Thus, the Council of Justice is also entitled to ban candidates with dubious political ties (while the PCIE had a mandate to assess professionalism and integrity only).

After the Council of Justice confirms the list, it will be sent to the President for the appointment. The President is obliged to sign the appointment within 30 days after it is submitted and has no right to reject candidates.

This intermediate victory is a joint result of many stakeholders, with the international partners having played a leading role.

Key credits go to the Public Council of Foreign Experts. Sir Anthony Hooper, Ted Zarzeczny, Lorna Harris, Mirjana Trajkovska, Flemming Denker and Aurelijus Gutauskas became the first Justice League Ukraine has ever had in reforming the judiciary.

We are extremely grateful to the IMF for a strong stance on the legislation and the Venice Commission for supporting the anticorruption court establishment. We would really like to thank the European Union for playing a leading role in nominating international experts, the OECD and the Council of Europe - for nominations. An incredibly important part was implemented by the U.S. - Embassy's INL team, also the IDLO and the EUACI by organizing PCIE secretariat who managed to do an enormous work to provide the Council with all the necessary information for their decisions to be made well-grounded. Many thanks to the G7 countries and Denmark, the World Bank for keeping the issue on the radars.

SBU ceased criminal proceeding regarding SAPO's Nazar Kholodnytskyi

Criminal proceeding against Kholodnytskyi was closed on December 29 by the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) "due to the lack of criminal offence in his actions". SBU and Prosecutor General's Office investigated case into misleading the investigation and leaking information. 

According to recordings, tapped in Kholodnytskyi's office in March 2018, he leaked investigative information at the pre-trial stage, informed suspects about searches, ordered a subordinate to influence the court, instructed witnesses how to deceive detectives etc. Media reported that the notice of suspicion was prepared at the PGO immediately after the wiretapping was revealed, but was never handed.

We would also like to remind, that earlier NABU prepared the notice of suspicion of illicit enrichment regarding the SBU top official Pavlo Demchyna. He got to know it right after it had been sent to SAPO for approval and called it 'the crime'. SAPO went even further and published the text of the notice on the Facebook page. Consequently, the charges were not announced to Demchyna. We added this case to the Registry of cases, dumped by SAPO. 

Tymoshenko’s American lobbyists: AntAC demands that criminal proceeding against the MP is opened

Solomyanskyi court of Kyiv declined appeals of the AntAC regarding the inactivity of anti-corruption bodies. NABU and SAPO had refused to start the investigation into facts of illicit enrichment of the MP and the candidate for President Yuliya Tymoshenko. The respective appeals were sent to the bodies at the end of 2018 and they had to submit information to the Unified Register of Pre-Trial Investigations within 24 hours and start the investigation.

They have not done it yet. This was the ground for the NGO to appeal to the court.

According to publications of Ukrainian and foreign media, in February 2018, the American firm Two Paths LLC hired the PR-company Avenue Strategies Global LLC to represent interests of Yulia Tymoshenko. Alsoinformation of the US Department of Justice confirms that another American company Innovative Technology and Business Consulting hired American lobbyists The Livingstone Group LLC for the organization of Tymoshenko's meetings with some U.S. politicians in Washington in 2018.  

There are no funds that correspond to these expenditures in Tymoshenko's declarations. Thus, the origin of money for American lobbyists’ services is not clear. It might testify of illicit enrichment of Tymoshenko. Full text

RFE/RL: Preelection Dismissal At Ukraine's Public Broadcaster Sparks Outcry

The supervisory board of Ukraine's public broadcaster has fired the operator's director without explanation in a closed-door decision just two months before a potentially divisive presidential election. Full text

Kateryna Handziuk's father revealed the names of those who stand behind her murder
Open statement of Viktor Handziuk on January 28:
 
To lose the daughter. To believe that she is no longer alive. To believe that she was killed so cynically and violently as in the Middle Ages. To believe that all the time it was necessary to force investigation to search for attackers, to force them to search for organizers, to force them to search for those who stood behind the murder.
Thanks to the pressure of Katya's friends, the pressure of her colleagues, pressures of journalists who still have honor and dignity, it was possible to discover the entire chain starting from performers of the murder and ending with its instigators.

The Prosecutor General Lutsenko knows the instigators. The SBU knows the instigators. I am sure that the Ministry of Internal Affairs knew instigators from the very beginning. They knew and kept silent.

Today, the criminal leader and the suspect in 
the organization of the murder Moskal is officially announced wanted. He went for the killing for a reason, he went for it not just from the street. He went for the killing from the building of the Kherson Regional State Administration, where he worked closely with specific people for whom he had done specific tasks.

I do not care whether corrupt Ministry of Internal Affairs, indifferent SBU or inactive Prosecutor's Office have concrete evidence against the instigators. I do not care how all these people will lie that they have no authority to punish perpetrators. I do not care. 

I know only one thing: when the suspect of organization of the murder, the criminal leader, who was recently released from jail, collaborates with the head of the Kherson Regional Council, the member of Batkivshchyna party Vladyslav 
Manger, when the criminal leader closely cooperates with the head of the Kherson Regional State Administration, the member of Petro Poroshenko Bloc Andriy Gordeyev, when the criminal leader closely cooperates with Gordeyev’s deputy Yevhen Ryschuk, these people must disappear from the political horizon. They are discredited forever.

I want everyone who knew Katya, everyone who heard about Katya, everyone who felt sorry for her, everyone who loved and supported her, realized that for me, Kateryna’s father, there is no difference between instigators and those who covered them all this time. This boundary has disappeared for me.

For me,
the Batkivshchyna party is the party of my daughter’s murderers. For me, Petro Poroshenko Bloc is the party of my daughter's murderers.

But I still believe that this country changes. I believe that instigators, organizers and performers of the murder will be punished. I believe that both Petro Poroshenko and 
Yulia Tymoshenko are not ready to go to elections covered with blood. I believe that they will hear father’s pain who lost his daughter and they will get rid of any connections with cynical murder of my Katya as soon as possible. I believe that they will draw the line now. They will show that there are boundaries which can not be crossed.

I believe that guilty persons will be punished in this country at last. And everyone will receive what they deserve. Source
Recommended reading

Ukraine Needs Carrots and Sticks to Fight Corruption - Oleksandr Danyliuk for the Atlantic Council 
 
Copyright © *2019* Anti-corruption Action Centre*, All rights reserved.

Should you have any questions or comments please contact Olena Halushka at: ohalushka@antac.org.ua

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