The Ministry of Justice is unable to fulfill the ruling of the District Administrative Court of Kyiv on the withdrawal from the Unified State Register of Legal Entities, Individual Entrepreneurs and Public Organizations of data about Artem Sytnyk as Director of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau.
That's according to Justice Minister Denys Maliuska.
"The Ministry of Justice cannot make changes to the Unified State Register in order to fulfill any ruling of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine or a separate judgment. Changes to the information contained in the registers are made by state registrars, and the Ministry of Justice only considers complaints about the actions of registrars and enters data into the USR exclusively based on the results of consideration of such complaints," Maliuska wrote on Facebook Tuesday.
Maliuska stressed that there are no legal grounds or authority to withdraw data about Sytnik as NABU Director from the state register, so this information will remain in place.
Besides, the minister said, the question of whether NABU is an executive authority has not yet been unequivocally resolved, since the Constitutional Court in its judgment indicated that NABU has features of a central executive authority, while stopping short of providing a clear definition that this indeed is an executive authority.
"The provisions of the law on NABU in terms of the procedure for appointing a NABU director are still valid and will remain so until December 17, 2020... The status quo regarding NABU and its head has not changed – NABU was and remains a fully functioning law enforcement body," noted Maliuska.
However, according to the minister, he shares the concern of the OASK on this issue, since "gaps in regulation after the decisions of the Constitutional Court arise and they need to be resolved."
"Sytnyk cancellation": Court ruling
The District Administrative Court of Kyiv earlier decided to have data on Sytnyk as NABU Director deleted from the state register.
On October 26, the court ruled to reinstate Oleksandr Kareev, former head of the second unit of detectives, recognizing his dismissal from NABU as illegal. Within the framework of the suit, a separate judgment was handed down "on the elimination of reasons and conditions" conducive to violation of law. In that ruling, the court ordered the Ministry of Justice to delete from the Unified Register data on Sytnik as NABU Director – based on the judgment of the Constitutional Court, which declared unlawful the decree of President Petro Poroshenko on Sytnyk's appointment. Also, a motion shall be filed with the State Bureau of Investigation to initiate a criminal case over the failure to comply with the Constitutional Court judgment.
Also, the resolution shall be submitted to the Cabinet of Ministers so that measures be taken to ensure that the National Anti-corruption Bureau complies with the law, and to the deputy NABU directors – so that they decide on who will become acting director.
NABU director's appointment: essence of claim
On July 9, 2020, the Constitutional Court launched consideration of the claim filed by a group of 51 people's deputies who asked the court to look into the constitutionality of the presidential decree on appointing Artem Sytnyk NABU Director.
According to the law on NABU (Part 9 Article 7), a president appoints a Bureau director from among two to three candidates selected by the competition committee.
In 2015, of 176 candidates running for the top post at NABU, Arem Sytnyk and Mykola Siriy reached the final stage of selection. The then-President Petro Poroshenko has appointed Artem Sytnyk.
The group of deputies, which includes Vladimir Putin's political operative in Ukraine Viktor Medvedchuk, explained in their filing with the Constitutional Court that the post of NABU director is beyond the explicit list of positions laid down in the Constitution to which a president is entitled to appoint officials.
They believe that the president thus breached the ban on usurping state power, enshrined in Part 4 Article 5 of the Constitution.
On August 28, the Constitutional Court of Ukraine ruled that the appointment of Sytnyk as NABU Director was unconstitutional.
NABU has stated that the ruling was "politically motivated."
What is NABU
The agency was established in 2014 after its predecessor, the National Anti-Corruption Committee was considered a failure. The Bureau was created on the request of the International Monetary Fund, according to Wikipedia.
The agency's government funding is mandated under American and European Union aid programs. It has an evidence-sharing agreement with the FBI.