Transparency threatened Ukraine with the loss of visa-free
The decision adopted by the Constitutional Court of Ukraine to repeal Article 368-2 of the Criminal Code (the provision on illegal enrichment) significantly weakens the country’s anti-corruption efforts.
About it there is a speech in the statement of anti-corruption international organization Transparency International.
According to her, the decision of the Ukrainian court undermines up to 65 open investigations and directly affects four cases against high-ranking officials who were already in the courts.
The organization even threatened Ukraine with the loss of a visa-free regime with the European Union.
“If the systemic problems of legislation in Ukraine are not resolved, and cases of illegal enrichment will be denied, many of the country’s anti-corruption achievements will be in vain. Officials accused of corruption should be prosecuted and the rule of law established. If a solution is not found, there is a chance that visa-free the EU’s regime and the financial assistance from the IMF will be frozen, which will complicate the country’s economic development, “said Delia Ferreira Rubio, chairman of Transparency International.
Experts of the organization state that the decision of the Constitutional Court violates Ukraine’s international obligations and urges the Ukrainian government to immediately take all necessary measures to remedy the situation.
“The court’s resolution basically provides civil servants with the opportunity to legalize their unlawful assets and not fear criminal prosecution. Moreover, electronic declarations of assets of public servants that were successfully implemented as part of anti-corruption reforms will now lose their goal due to the lack of criminal liability for illegal enrichment In the end, the position against deliberate announcement of false information will also lose its purpose, since there will be no need to hide the asset s, ”says Andrei Borovik, executive director of TI Ukraine.
According to Ukrainian legislation, the decision of the Constitutional Court is mandatory, final and cannot be appealed. The court claimed that this article violated the presumption of innocence and the right to refuse to testify. However, Transparency International Ukraine believes that the analysis of article 368-2 and the court’s decision prove that this article does not impose the burden of proof on the accused. The burden of proof lies with the prosecutor’s office. This provision does not oblige the public servant to prove the legality of the acquired assets, but provides accused persons with the opportunity to confirm the legal origin of their assets.
“The Ukrainian government must take responsibility for the cases that investigators, prosecutors and judges will have to close because of the ruling. Even if the new law on illegal enrichment is implemented and adopted, it will not have retroactive effect, leaving all current affairs closed and allowing corrupt officials to avoid justice, “the anti-corruption organization said in a statement.
The international organization also recalls that the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) called the court’s decision a politically motivated step that will significantly affect their current investigations.
Information taken from: https://strana.ua/news/188986-v-transparency-international-rasskazali-chem-ukraine-pridetsja-rsplatitsja-za-otmenu-stati-o-nezakonnom-obohashchenii.html