There’s an urgent need to amend the norm of the Law of Ukraine «On the High Anti-Corruption Court», providing that appeal courts of general jurisdiction will consider appeals against decisions of the first-instance courts made before The High Anti-Corruption Court is established.
The above-mentioned article provides that the appeals against sentences of the first-instance courts made before the establishment of the High Anti-Corruption Court (HACC) will not be considered in the Appeal Chamber of the HACC. Instead, they will be considered by appeal courts of general jurisdiction.
In fact, the norm eliminates the prosecution and the defense the right to have decisions reviewed by an independent judicial body in proceedings that have been investigated by the NABU over the past three years and will be passed to the courts of general jurisdiction until the Anti-Corruption Court is launched.
This means that most of the top-corrupt officials already prosecuted by the NABU may avoid a fair punishment.
We emphasize that, this provision of the Law will level out several years work of the NABU Detectives and the SAPO prosecutors, as large number of cases in which top-officials are indicted of corruption, will fall outside the jurisdiction of the Anti-Corruption Court.
Sentences in the NABU cases made by the courts of general jurisdiction should be appealed to the Appeals Chamber of the High Anti-Corruption Court. Otherwise civil society and international partners won’t have confidence in final sentences passed upon corrupt officials.
It should be reminded that on June 7, 2018, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine adopted the Law № 7440 «On the High Anti-Corruption Court». The law was signed by the Head of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on June 9; and then on June 11, it was signed by the President of Ukraine.
The full text of the Law was published on June 13, 2018, in the parliamentary newspaper "Holos Ukrainy".