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Lawmaker with the ruling Servant of the People Party, Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada's Committee for Legal Affairs Andriy Kostin may be appointed a new Head of Ukraine's Specialized Anti-corruption Prosecutor's Office (SAPO).

Kostin is the top contender for the post earlier held by Nazar Kholodnytsky, the RBC Ukraine news agency reported on September 17, referring to its source in the party.

The nominee worked as a lawyer in the city of Odesa before being elected to the Rada, Ukraine's parliament, the publication said.

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When asked by journalists whether he would take part in the competition for the post of SAPO head, Kostin failed to provide an unequivocal answer.

"There are a lot of interesting ideas in the media. An interesting idea is always a reason to consider it," he said.

Kholodnytsky's resignation: background

  • On August 21, SAPO Head Nazar Kholodnytsky filed for resignation.
  • Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova signed his resignation letter and issued a dismissal order.
  • Kholodnytsky stopped short of specifying the reasons for his resignation.
  • In June, it was reported that the Prosecutor General's Office had opened disciplinary proceedings against Kholodnytsky.
  • The European Union, key European powers, and the World Bank have written a letter to the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine's parliament, as well as the President's Office, over the draft resolution the parliament intended to pass on September 3 (the resolution did not pass the Rada on that day). The appeal intended to warn of the possible implications of the decision to change the composition of the commission formed to select the new chief of the Special Anti-corruption Prosecutor's Office.
  • The selection commission should be formed from among highly reputable candidates with significant experience in the field of combating corruption, the letter said, adding that public confidence in the selection process will largely depend on the composition of the selection committee.
  • The ambassadors of the G7 countries (the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, France, Italy, Germany, and Japan) in a statement posted September 16 stressed the need to protect the integrity of the National Anti-corruption Bureau (NABU) of Ukraine, the Specialized Anti-corruption Prosecutor's Office (SAPO), and the High Anti-Corruption Court (HACC).