Ukraine has sustained billions in losses due to court rulings in past two years / Photo from UNIAN, by Viacheslav Ratynsky

The National Anti-corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) says that certain decisions made by judges of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine (CCU) during 2019-2020 have deprived the country of the opportunity to recover billions in losses caused by corruption.

This is said in a statement posted on NABU's website.

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"The decisions ruled by the judges of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine during 2019-2020 related to the fight against corruption cause concern. The consequences of such rulings are the systemic weakening of the institutional capacity of the bodies established to expose corruption. These rulings lead to the release from liability of persons involved in causing damages to the interests of the state on an especially large scale," it said.

According to it, the Constitutional Court of Ukraine, by its decisions, deprived NABU of the authority to invalidate illegal agreements in court, actually released the officials from criminal liability for illegal enrichment and for failure to submit a declaration.

"In general, due to these rulings, the opportunity to recover billions of losses caused by corruption is lost forever," it said.

Constitutional Court row: Background

  • On October 27, the Constitutional Court made a decision on a motion filed by 47 Members of Parliament, having repealed Article 366-1 of the Criminal Code, which provided for criminal liability for inaccurate declaration by government officials of their income.
  • The Constitutional Court also recognized the provisions of the laws on the verification of e-declarations of officials as unconstitutional and abolished the powers of the National Agency on Corruption Prevention (NACP) to verify the declarations and identify conflicts of interest.
  • On July 28, the Constitutional Court declared a presidential decree dated April 16, 2015, on the appointment of Artem Sytnyk as NABU Director as unconstitutional. The decision was taken on a motion filed by 51 lawmakers.
  • On September 16, the Constitutional Court ruled that certain provisions of the law on the National Anti-corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) are at variance with the country's Constitution. In particular, the provisions on empowering the President of Ukraine to form NABU, to appoint and dismiss its director, to appoint three persons to the commission for holding a competition for the position of the bureau's director, to appoint one member of the external control commission to conduct an independent assessment (audit) of NABU's effectiveness, its operational and institutional independence, and to approve the provisions on the Civil Oversight Council and the procedure for its formation were designated as unconstitutional.