Thousands of Ukrainian citizens who protest against a recent Ukraine's Constitutional Court (CCU) to abolish criminal liability for inaccurate asset declaration by government officials are rallying outside the CCU HQ in Kyiv, an UNIAN correspondent reports.
Law enforcers have cordoned off the court premises, with several dozen police vehicles parked on the adjacent streets, including paddy wagons.
Traffic on Zhylianska Street in the area from Antonovycha Street to Vasylkivska Street is currently blocked.
Read alsoZelensky asks Rada to sack all Constitutional Court judges following controversial rulingProtesters outside the CCU building lit flares and hurled smoke bombs over the fense at the CCU premises. The police have strengthened their presence at the scene to ensure law and order.
They demand that those judges who issued the notorious judgment be expelled to Russia's Rostov [hinting at the disgraced ex-president Viktor Yanukovych's escape destination in 2014]. Activists brought a symbolic boarding ticket and suitcases to the court HQ.
People are convinced that it is Russia where the 11 judges who handed down such a ruling must be expelled to.
The protesters demand that the gate to the CCU yard be opened for them.
Valery Alioshin, Deputy Head of the CCU Secretariat, came out to hear out the protesters.
"Now you are protesting against the Constitutional Court ruling, which did not abolish the obligation for asset declaration. The first thing the court did with its ruling was sending a signal to the Verkhovna Rada that some provisions of the law need to be clarified," he said.
Read alsoAnti-graft agency restores public access to government officials' e-declarationsProtesters were not impressed with the explanation and demanded that the judges resign voluntarily.
Constitutional Court's controversial ruling on inaccurate asset declaration: Facts
On October 27, the CCU, on the motion of 47 legislators, handed down a judgment rescinding Article 366-1 of the Criminal Code, which provides for liability for inaccurate asset declaration by government officials.
Also, the CCU recognized the provisions of the laws on e-declarations' vetting as unconstitutional and stripped the relevant watchdog, the National Agency on Corruption Prevention of powers to vet declarations and identify conflicts of interest.
The CCU deprived the NACP of access to state registers required for vetting declarations of candidates for government offices, thus blocking the appointment of officials, including those who won in the latest local elections across Ukraine.
The NABU said that as a result of the CCU move, all criminal cases probing inaccurate asset declaration shall be closed, while officials exposed on abuse will avoid responsibility.
On October 28, pursuant to the CCU ruling, the NACP shut down public access to the Unified State Register of Asset Declarations, which was restored overnight Friday in line with the Cabinet decision following public outrage.
On October 29, President Volodymyr Zelensky at a meeting of the National Security and Defense Council issued instructions to immediately table a bill in parliament that provides for the restoration of the integrity of legal proceedings in the Constitutional Court.
Later the same day, Zelensky submitted to Parliament a draft law, offering an early termination of powers of the Constitutional Court's entire composition.