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HOT ANTICORRUPTION NEWS / Issue #172
April 8, 2021
  
Today's issue:
 
- NABU detained the brother of Pavlo Vovk for facilitation of a $100,000 bribe;
- MPs protract reinstating imprisonment for false declaration with a request to the Venice Commission;
- Parliament unblocks large-scale privatization;
- Record bribery case of ex-minister Zlochevsky goes to court;

- recommended reading
NABU detained the brother of Pavlo Vovk for facilitation of a $100,000 bribe

On April 6, NABU detained the brother of a notorious judge of the Kyiv District Administrative Court Pavlo Vovk for alleged bribery (see the full story on how Vovk came into power here). Vovk’s brother, Yury Zontov, is accused of receiving a $100,000 bribe as an intermediary and was supposed to give the money to Vovk. Lately, detectives found around $5 million of stashed funds in a specially designed apartment.

It has also been revealed that Zontov is in fact a deputy head of the Foreign Intelligence Service of Ukraine. Although publicly Zontov was known as an attorney and his link to the Service was only revealed during the detention. The Service informed that it suspended Zontov for the period of the investigation.
MPs protract reinstating imprisonment for false declaration with a request to the Venice Commission
March 31 was the deadline for public officials to submit their annual asset declarations. However, this year they can't be punished as Parliament failed to timely reinstate necessary provisions. Instead, in order to protract adoption of the necessary draft law, the Head of Law Enforcement Committee MP Denys Monastyrskyi referred it to the Venice Commission for an expert opinion.
Earlier, the Venice Commission had already recommended Ukraine to reinstate imprisonment as a sanction for lying in asset declaration. The suggested draft law directly implements this recommendation. Also, there is a suspicion that the Committee falsified the documents applying for the opinion.
Parliament unblocks large-scale privatization
On March 30, the Parliament adopted draft law No.4543 on unblocking the process of large-scale privatization, namely objects that are evaluated for more than UAH 250 million. Thus, the State Property Fund is preparing for privatization of 5 thermal power plants, 3 regional power plants, the enterprise Bilshovyk, Odesa Port Plant, the United Mining and Chemical Company, the President Hotel, etc. In 2021, the Government plans to receive UAH 12 billion from the sale of these assets. 
Record bribery case of ex-minister Zlochevsky goes to court
The Specialized Anti-corruption Prosecutor's Office sent to the High Anti-Corruption Court the record-breaking $6 million bribery case. Last year associates attempted to bribe the leadership of the NABU and the SAPO on behalf ex-Minister Mykola Zlochevsky to drop the investigation into his companies. Three persons are currently indicted, excluding Zlochevsky. The proceedings regarding him are suspended as he has fled Ukraine.
Recommended Reading 
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Should you have any questions or comments please contact Tetiana Shevchuk at tshevchuk@antac.org.ua

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