250 NABU Detectives, 40 SAPO prosecutors face old system revolt, - NABU Director

19.03.2021 00:00

"For almost 6 years of our work, we have tracked down Ukrainian corruption in about 80 countries. These are the countries where participants in NABU cases, namely high-ranking officials, took the funds stolen in Ukraine and later legalized them. It is difficult to name the amount that has been siphoned off from Ukraine through corruption schemes. We can assume we are talking about billions," said Artem Sytnyk, Director of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau, during the III International Criminal Law Forum.

In the process of gathering evidence of Ukrainian top officials' involvement in corruption schemes, NABU interacts with the competent authorities of other states. A successful example of this cooperation is a unique special operation of NABU, SAPO, and the Central Anti-Corruption Bureau of Poland to expose a criminal organization headed by a former Acting Head of the State Road Agency (Ukravtodor).

"When we cooperate with other countries, we see the political will, the readiness to fight corruption at the highest level. No leak have occurred in our joint investigation with Poland so far. The realities in Ukraine are different: a notice of suspicion may be still on the prosecutor's desk, but the suspect is already leaving the country. NABU finds itself in a situation when the old system revolts against 250 Detectives and 40 SAPO Prosecutors,” Artem Sytnyk said.

The lawyers at the forum spoke of the high professional level of the NABU Detectives, stressing it exceeded that of their colleagues at other law enforcement agencies, including in terms of ethical treatment of lawyers.

The NABU Director also called on the lawyers to support the eCase Management System, a project for the digitalization of the entire pre-trial process between NABU, SAPO, and the High Anti-Corruption Court developed with the support of the EU Anti-Corruption Initiative in Ukraine (EUACI). The initiative however requires legislative grounds for its fulfillment. The draft law with amendments to Ukraine's Criminal Procedure Code to allow the use of the system has already been introduced in Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine by the President.

Read more about NABU's international cooperation in our report for the second half of 2020.