Constitutional Court of Ukraine has struck a blow to anti-corruption reform – NABU statement

29.10.2020 00:00

The ruling of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine, which imposes criminal liability for submitting false data to e-declaration, is political. In this way, the Constitutional Court of Ukraine not only legitimizes the intentions of politicians and officials to hide from society illegally acquired wealth, but also protects the interests of some judges of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine (under NABU investigations).

The launching of electronic declaration system is one of the key assets of the State after the Revolution of Dignity. This is the cornerstone of the anti-corruption reform launched in 2014. Its goal is to make government transparent and accountable to society. After all, declarants are persons held at the expense of taxpayers, including judges.

However, the CCU judges decided that all judges should stay out of the process, and monitoring their lifestyle was allegedly a form of pressure, as was drawing up protocols if differences between declared and actual wealth were found. Therefore, due to the CCU decision, no one will control and will not have the right to inquire about the wealth of judges and their sources of origin, to bring to liability in case of disagreement.

This decision does not hold water, it does not seem to be reasonable or be in accordance with the legal terms. The final decision in case of violations by judges of the legislation of preventing corruption is the exclusive prerogative of the courts, not the NACP or NABU. Therefore, the conclusions of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine about the alleged violation of the independence of judges under the current legislation on the prevention of corruption are unfounded.

As of October 27, 2020, there are 110 criminal proceedings in the work of NABU. 180 facts of submitting false data to e-declarations by officials are investigated within these proceedings. 7 persons, including 3 Members of Parliament, were given notices of suspicion. 34 cases were sent to court. There are court decisions against 13 persons (6 sentences; cases against 7 persons were closed on non-rehabilitating grounds).

Due to the decision of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine, all these cases should be terminated. Consequently, officials caught in abuses will evade responsibility.

By launching e-declarations system, Ukraine followed the best international practices of countries, in which e-declaration system is an element of political culture and one of the ways of showing respect for citizens. The effectiveness of this tool is determined by the degree of responsibility for its violation, which the Constitutional Court of Ukraine, by its decision, has actually declared invalid. This dealt a devastating blow to an effective tool for cleansing the government of corruption.

Photo: unian.net