Joint statement of the NABU and the SAPO regarding amendments to the Law on the High Anti-Corruption Court of Ukraine

17.07.2019 00:00

The National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) and the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor`s Office (SAPO) support the proposed amendments to the Law of Ukraine "On the Establishment of the High Anti-Corruption Court (HACC)" regarding the start of its work. The amendments propose to consolidate for the HACC consideration of cases investigated by the NABU Detectives and the SAPO Prosecutors only. We call on the Members of Parliament of Ukraine to vote for the initiative of the President of Ukraine and to adopt the relevant Law as soon as possible.

If this does not happen, the efforts to create the Anti-Corruption Court as an institution designed to impose severe punishment on convicted high-ranking officials, will be in vain. However, the chances to avoid a fair punishment by corrupt officials will increase.

From the very beginning, we insisted that the HACC should take to consideration cases as of top-corruption, investigated by the NABU and the SAPO. This is the way to ensure a quick and impartial sentencing, which Ukrainians are waiting for.

According to the current legislation, all cases as of corruption, from the lowest to the high-ranking officials, should be directed to the HAAC. This is more than 3,500 indictments. Their number will increase. This can be an overwhelming burden and block the work of 38 judges of the HAAC.

At the same time, cases from the NABU and the SAPO accounted for only 5% of the total number of cases. And these are exactly those high-profile cases, the sentences on which the society expects.

The work of the NABU and the SAPO became a challenge for the existing judicial system, which, unfortunately, it did not cope with. That is why the HAAC was created. However, according to the current legislation, after the transfer of a huge number of criminal proceedings as of corruption to the HACC, a situation will arise where judges will be overburdened and will not be able to make decisions quickly.

The legislative amendments proposed by the President can eliminate this problem and ensure effective judicial proceedings in criminal proceedings for corruption crimes of persons within a reasonable time. After all, this is what Ukrainian society expects.