The judges of Ukraine's Constitutional Court have handed down a ruling on the "inaccurate asset declaration" in their own interests, the National Agency on Corruption Prevention (NACP) says.
The relevant statement was posted on the NACP website on Tuesday, October 27.
The anti-graft watchdog earlier claimed that two CC judges - Iryna Zavhorodnia and Serhiy Holovatyi – filed inaccurate information in their annual asset declaration – the act that the Court has now decriminalized.
"This is a violation of Article 366-1 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine. Judges voted today to declare the article unconstitutional. This evidences the fact that Iryna Zavhorodnia and Serhiy Holovatyi had a conflict of interest by partaking in decision-making. The law prohibits judges from participating in a case in such circumstances," the statement reads.
The NACP recalled that inaccurate data on assets worth UAH 3.6 million was revealed in Judge Holoivatyi's declaration for 2019. In that of Iryna Zavhorodnia's 2018 declaration, inaccurate information was spotted on assets worth UAH 615,000, and another UAH 754,000 – in in the 2019 declaration.
"Case consideration by the said judges calls into question the objectivity of the Constitutional Court's ruling. And this at a time when it comes to a case on which the future of Ukraine depends, its perception at the international level, access of Ukrainians to the truth about the life of officials," said NACP chief Oleksandr Novikov.
Also, the NACP recalled that earlier, during the audit of the annual declarations of Judge Volodymyr Moisik, the agency identified signs of the use of a knowingly forged document – a crime punished under Art. 358 Part 4 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine.
Read alsoLaw on criminal liability for illegal enrichment comes into force on Nov 28The agency has also filed for bringing to administrative liability judges Volodymyr Moisik and Ihor Sleddenko over their failure to submit reports on significant changes in property status.
Constitutional Court's ruling to abolish liability for illegal enrichment
On October 27, the Constitutional Court ruled on the motion submitted by 47 lawmakers to cancel Article 366-1 of the Criminal Code, which provides for liability for inaccurate declaration of assets. The ruling comes into force from the moment of its adoption.
Member of Ukrzaliznytsia JSC Supervisory Board, former MP and ex-journalist Serhiy Leshchenko reported on his Telegram channel that the Constitutional Court had canceled the anti-corruption reform on the motion of MPs with the Opposition Bloc – for Life and Za Majbutne (For the Future) parties.
"The draft [ruling] was handed out in the morning and then voted on. Things like that didn't happen even under [disgraced ex-president Viktor] Yanukovych. Only four judges opposed: Lemak, Pervomaisky, Kolesnik and Holovatyi," Leshchenko said.
At the same time, Verkhovna Rada's envoy to the Constitutional Court, Olha Sovhiria, stressed that the Court had handed down the ruling, questionable in its content, with flagrant procedural violations. "Unfortunately, as regards today's ruling by the Constitutional Court of Ukraine regarding anti-corruption legislation, Ukraine runs the risk of being drawn into a grandiose international scandal," she wrote on Facebook on Tuesday.