Record compensations to budget and unprecedented pressure — NABU and SAPO 2021 first-half results

09.08.2021 00:00

In the first six months of 2021, NABU and SAPO launched investigations into 336 criminal proceedings, served notices of suspicion to 42 persons, filed 25 indictments regarding 43 accused persons, and ensured compensation of more than UAH 1.1 billion. This was stressed by NABU Director Artem Sytnyk at the press conference on August 9, 2021.

"In the first half of 2021, NABU made progress in a high-profile and one of its most difficult cases - the "PrivatBank" case. For the first time in Ukraine, a flight with a bank's ex-top manager who was trying to flee the country was forced to land," Artem Sytnyk said.

The positive achievements of the year's first half also include the long-awaited jail sentences by the High Anti-Corruption Court (11 sentences against 14 persons had come into force as of 30.06.2021).

"The convicts include four judges, four heads of enterprises, two prosecutor's office officials, two heads of local governments, two more persons. For the first time, over UAH 9 million was confiscated by court in top corruption cases,” Artem Sytnyk added.

According to him, political pressure on the National Bureau and attempts to deprive it of institutional independence still persist. In particular, the NABU Director noted that the bill adopted in May in the first reading to bring the status of the National Bureau in line with the requirements of the Constitution of Ukraine deprives the agency of the status of a law enforcement body and changes the procedure for appointing its Director. "Although the Cabinet of Ministers has promised not to interfere in our work, there are fears that before the second reading, this document may be updated with certain provisions that will not benefit our work," Artem Sytnyk pointed out.

He also stressed the extreme importance of completing the contest for a new Head of the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office. "Unfortunately, we see certain attempts at putting pressure during the SAPO Head contest and the fact it's been lasting more than a year now – all this is unacceptable and affects the agency's independence," Artem Sytnyk said.

He also mentioned that the grounds for launching the interdepartmental information and telecommunication system of pre-trial investigation eCase Management System have finally been created. "The legal framework for system's operation that will simplify and speed up the work of Detectives, Prosecutors and Judges has finally been created. On June 1, the Verkhovna Rada adopted the relevant amendments to the Criminal Procedure Code of Ukraine, which will come into force on December 15 this year. We hope that this revolutionary tool will finally be launched!”

As for the economic effect of the NABU and SAPO work, in the first half of 2021, it amounted to UAH 1.85 billion — almost as much as for the whole of last year. This includes more than UAH 1 billion reimbursed to state-owned enterprises voluntarily and as a result of lawsuits, property and funds (worth more than UAH 9 million) confiscated to the state revenue by court rulings, as well as UAH 730.9 million, the embezzlement of which was prevented.

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