Director of the National Anti-corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) Artem Sytnyk has said the presidential bill on the High Anti-Corruption Court (HACC), submitted to parliament, includes norms that disable it by making its practical activity impossible.
"I am incredibly glad that our parliament has got a bill on the anti-corruption court. Of course, the bill has a purposefully created set of norms aimed at preventing such a court from being launched, but again, civil organizations immediately noticed and wrote about them," he said at an event where findings of a poll carried out by the American Chamber of Commerce on business perception of corruption in Ukraine were presented.
Read alsoWorld Bank speaks up against Ukraine’s current bill on anti-graft court: $800 mln at stakeThe NABU head also criticized the situation when the role of the international panel of experts in the selection of judges has been downplayed compared to recommendations by the Venice Commission, which will not make the court truly independent. "Many claim international experts' participation in the selection of judges violates the sovereignty of Ukraine. But international experts took part in the selection of the head of the National Anti-corruption Bureau and the Specialized Anti-corruption Prosecutor's Office. This is an effective tool," Sytnyk said.
He also pointed to tough requirements for those who will apply for judges' positions. "A candidate must have a great background as a lawyer, legal experience, employment history with international organizations, not be subject to lustration, and so on ... I do not know such people. Anyway, there won't be many of those who are interested. A judge who will pass the first verdict will be a hero," Sytnyk said.
In this regard, the NABU chief predicted heated debates in parliament during the consideration of the bill. "The parliament will face a tough discussion because it is necessary not just to create a court, but to create it the way that it can cope with its tasks. And its tasks are to ensure that individuals convicted of corruption should be held liable," he stressed.
Sytnyk also said that "no words can describe" the scale of corruption at Ukrainian state-owned enterprises, and this is the main source of political corruption – the financing of parliamentary factions and parties that lobby their own interests.