Ambassador of the European Union to Ukraine, Head of the EU Delegation to Ukraine Matti Maasikas says that it is necessary to fast restore trust in the country's anti-corruption agencies after the country's Constitutional Court repealed criminal liability for inaccurate declaration by government officials of their assets.
Maasikas announced this on the air of Savik Shuster's Freedom of Speech program on TV Channel Ukraina.
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The ambassador says he is convinced that the "anti-corruption architecture" that has been developing in Ukraine since 2014 after the Revolution of Dignity has started working very well.
"It is a basis of much of our cooperation, including on visa-free travel which the Ukrainian people deserve and on which Ukrainian politicians have worked very hard to achieve," Maasikas said.
"And now this trust needs to be restored fast. It needs to be done with my favorite Ukrainian word 'shvydko' – 'fast,' with urgency," he added.
Maasikas noted that the discussion that is now taking place in Ukraine testifies to the need to resolve the current problem urgently.
Constitutional Court's controversial decision on illegal enrichment: Facts
- On October 27, the Constitutional Court ruled on a motion filed by 47 legislators to repeal Article 366-1 of the Criminal Code, which provides for criminal liability for inaccurate asset declaration by government officials.
- The Constitutional Court also recognized the provisions of laws on the verification of officials' e-declarations as unconstitutional and deprived the National Agency on Corruption Prevention (NACP) of the authority to check asset declarations and identify conflicts of interest.
- The Constitutional Court, by its decision, blocked the NACP's access to the state registers necessary for conducting special checks on declarations of candidates nominated for top positions in the government. Without such vetting, no head of a government agency could be appointed officially.
- On October 28, the NACP closed access to the State E-Declarations Register.
- On October 28, the Constitutional Court published the text of the respective decision adopted by its Grand Chamber, composed of 15 judges.
- The National Anti-corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) said that pursuant to the Constitutional Court's decision, all cases of inaccurate declaration of assets would be closed, and government officials convicted of abuse would thus evade liability.
- On October 29, President Volodymyr Zelensky gave instructions at a meeting of the National Security and Defense Council to immediately table a bill in parliament that provides for the restoration of the integrity of legal proceedings in the Constitutional Court.