Shokin doesn't want to share criminal cases with anti-corruption agencies
Ukrainian Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin has officially instructed prosecutors not to transfer criminal cases to the National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU) and the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office, according to head of the board of the Anti-Corruption Action Center (AntAC), a Ukrainian civil society organization, Vitaliy Shabunin.
"The [Prosecutor General's] Office (PGO) has sent out clear instructions to the PGO divisions – the cases requested by the National Anti-Corruption Bureau and the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office should not be handed over," he wrote in his blog on Ukrainian online newspaper Ukrainska Pravda's website.
According to Shabunin, the PGO lists 10 reasons why the anti-corruption agencies are not authorized to submit requests for such cases and investigate them.
"The Prosecutor General's instructions list 10 clauses mentioning laws which should be cited by the prosecutors to officially deny the transfer of cases to the bureau or the specialized prosecutor's office. The reasons are suited to prosecutors' every fancy – from distortion to a sophisticated manipulation," he wrote.
Among them is the fact that the NABU director is not authorized by law to request the transfer of criminal cases.
Another reason is that the NABU director and personnel have no grounds for access to materials of criminal proceedings.
However, Shabunin says that Part 5 of Article 216 of the Criminal Procedure Code allows detectives to investigate any criminal case if needed.
Shokin also manipulates criminal procedures. "Shokin writes that not only the prosecutor general but also acting prosecutor general is authorized to decide a dispute over investigative jurisdiction. The Criminal Procedure Code doesn't mention a word about this!" Shabunin wrote.
The activist claims that Shokin issued his instructions after a meeting at the prosecutor's office when Chief of the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office Nazar Kholodnytsky jointly with Shokin's first deputy Yuriy Sevruk was trying to hammer out procedures to request criminal cases and set terms for this process, which would automatically solve the issue.