Chief of the European Union Delegation to Ukraine Matti Maasikas says the newly adopted bill restoring criminal liability for inaccurate declaration of assets by officials requires some improvement.
The comment came as Maasikas was speaking at an online discussion "Joining efforts against democracy-killers: corruption, money laundering, and propaganda," broadcast by the Anti-Corruption Action Center on Facebook, an UNIAN correspondent reports.
"The European Union made clear its position on the law that was adopted last Friday by the Verkhovna Rada aiming to restore the asset declaration system. We recognized that this is a step in coping with the Constitutional Court's decisions, but it falls short in restoring a real working deterrent system of asset declarations. So our position is that this law needs to be improved and strengthened," Maasikas emphasized.
The European Union firmly supports Ukraine in its fight against corruption, the diplomat has added, also noting during his address that he sometimes finds himself in a "bit of an awkward position" in communicating with some Ukrainian politicians when he, while being a foreign diplomat, has to "refer to the will, and determination, and the position of the Ukrainian people."
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On October 27, the Constitutional Court, on the motion of 47 MPs, adopted a decision repealing Article 366-1 of the Criminal Code, which had provided for liability for inaccurate declaration of assets by government officials.
The Constitutional Court also recognized unconstitutional the provisions of laws on the verification of e-declarations, and abolished the powers of the National Agency for Corruption Prevention to verify such declarations and identify conflict of interest.
On December 4, the Verkhovna Rada adopted amendments to legislation partially restoring liability for inaccurate declaration of assets.
The law supplements the Criminal Code with Articles 366-2 (declaring inaccurate information by an official) and 366-3 (failure to file a declaration by an official)
The newly-adopted law envisages liability for the said offenses ranging from fines to a ban on holding certain positions or engage in certain activities, while stopping short of introducing prison sentence.
The president is yet to sign the bill into law.