June 22, 2020
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Today's issue:
- Medvedchuk's close ties to Kolomoisky revealed;
- Ministry of Health imposes manual control over medical procurements;
- Procedure of selection of new SAPO head is launched;
- Important laws for HACC functioning have been adopted;
- Calls for reform of Kyiv District Administrative Court;
- Invitation to Zero Corruption Talk on judicial reform;

- recommended reading
Medvedchuk's close ties to Kolomoisky revealed

The long-lasting court battle over Privatbank nationalisation has revealed interesting details over business connections between Ukrainian oligarch Igor Kolomoisky and close Putin's ally MP Victor Medvedchuk. Two businessmen are connected through assets co-owned with Surkis' brothers, who are trying to prove that they are not Privatbank's insider and keep appealing Privatbank bail-in procedures in various courts. 

The connection of Surkis family with Kolomoysky’s Privatbank is confirmed by several joint ownership of oligarchs. Namely, three media: TV and Radio Company Studio 1+1, Gravis-Kino and TV Company TET. One of key evidence of connection is company Bolvik Ventures Ltd, which has been owned by Surkis. However, the wife of Viktor Medvedchuk became the beneficial owner of this company in 2019. It looks like Medvedchuk was handed over the company from Surkis to help latter withdraw 7 billion UAH from the state-owned bank.

Investigative project Schemes (Radio Free Europe) also presented their findings on Medvedchuk's share in key businesses controlled by Kolomoisky such as media, energy and metallurgy, see the full report (in Ukrainian).
Ministry of Health imposes manual control over medical procurements

On June 12, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine made amendments to the decision, which complicates the process of medical procurements. In fact, under the new procedure the state enterprise Medical Procurements of Ukraine will not be able to procure anything without the approval of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine. The Miniser will be able to "manually" control procurements and artificially delay deliveries, blaming the state enterprise in shortage of medicines. 

Procedure of selection of new SAPO head is launched

The Council of Prosecutors of Ukraine appointed its four representatives to the  Commission for the selection of the head of the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office (SAPO), as well as his deputies and other heads of departments. The Verkhovna Rada must appoint its representatives to the Commission by September 4.

The Selection Commission consists of 11 persons. Namely, 4 representatives of the Council of Prosecutors and 7 delegates from the Verkhovna Rada. Members of the Commission may be persons with impeccable business reputation, professional and moral qualities, who have public trust. Significant experience in the anti-corruption field is also required.
The Council of Prosecutors of Ukraine appointed well recognized international experts Roman Kuybida, Nona Tsotsoriya, Drago Kos, and Thomas A. Firestone. However, the nominates presented by Servant of the People party are quite worrisome as they do not have extended expertise in anti-corruption and public recognition, some of them have very close ties to structures of the Ministry of Interior. The Parliament is planning to approve their delegates during the upcoming weeks.
Important laws for HACC functioning have been adopted

Last week, parliament adopted important laws that would allow the High Anti-corruption Court to own their premises. At the same time, a number of implementation measures are required to secure the ownership, including assessment of the State Property Fund, adoption of the decision of the Cabinet of Ministers on the transfer of premises, a decision of the Kyiv City Council on the allocation of the land plot. Once the property is legally registered, it will need a renovation, which will also take time and allocation of extra funds from the budget.

Calls for reform of Kyiv District Administrative Court

Activists of Anti-corruption Action Centre and Avtomaidan performed a street action in front of the Office of the President to remind Zelenskyi on the need to reform notorious Kyiv District Administrative Court. They have also prepared an online special project which contains the most glaring examples of KDAC's arbitrariness. According to legislation, a court can be disbanded only by submitting a draft law to the Verkhovna Rada by the President of Ukraine.

Invitation to Zero Corruption Talk on judicial reform
We are pleased to invite you to an online panel discussion Zero Corruption Talk: The High Time for the Real Judiciary Reform in Ukraine, which will take place on June 23, at 17.00 (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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