Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has signed a bill into law to reinstate criminal liability for illegal enrichment of government officials.
The document amends certain legislative acts of Ukraine concerning the confiscation of illegal assets of persons authorized to perform the functions of the state or local self-government, and the punishment for acquiring such assets (Law No. 263-IX).
The law is designed to reinstate criminal liability for illegal enrichment, as well as introduce the institution of recovery of government officials' unlawful assets in favor of the state, the presidential press service said.
The law provides that the Criminal Code of Ukraine should be extended with Article 368-5 "Illegal enrichment," which determines that a person authorized to perform the functions of the state or local government who acquires assets that are higher than his or her income by more than 6,500 non-taxable minimum incomes shall be imprisoned from five to 10 years. He or she will not be allowed to occupy certain positions or engage in certain activities for a period of up to three years.
In this case, assets also include cash (including cash money, funds held in bank accounts or deposited with banks or other financial institutions), other property, property rights, intangible assets, including cryptocurrencies, the amount of a decrease in financial liabilities, as well as work or services provided to a person authorized to perform the functions of the state or local government.
Also, the law introduced amendments to the Civil Procedure Code of Ukraine, according to which the High Anti-Corruption Court shall consider cases to establish that assets were acquired unlawfully and recover them in favor of state revenue. This will guarantee a fair trial.
It says that Article 290 of the Civil Procedure Code of Ukraine provides that a lawsuit declaring assets unjustified and recovering them in favor of state revenue shall be filed regarding assets acquired after the day this law comes into force if a difference between their value and the legal income of a person authorized to perform functions of state or local government exceeds the minimum income of able-bodied persons by 500 times or more.
Ukrainian lawmakers passed the respective bill on October 31, 2019.