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In accordance with the memorandum between Ukraine and the IMF, our country should create the Anti-Corruption Court. According to the document, in the middle of summer, Ukrainian parliament had to adopt the relevant legislation. The court itself was to begin work next spring. The political elite did not meet the idea of a new court with unanimity. Supporters noted that the court will help accelerate investigations into individuals suspected of corruption. Opponents considered the idea of populism.
"The anticorruption court should be supplemented by the National Anti-Corruption Bureau and the State Bureau of Investigation together with the law enforcers, all this vertical should be independent of the influence of the Presidential Administration and other political and financial groups," our sources in coalition factions recall.
However, until recently words were very different from the case. Back in May 2016 Minister of Justice Pavlo Petrenko said that the Supreme Anti-Corruption Court would appear in Ukraine, and the idea of creating this court was proclaimed a new law "On the Judiciary and the Status of Judges." However, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said that "if the Anti-Corruption Court appears in 2019 or 2020, we will be happy."
No one writes the bill regulating the work of the court. As our sources in the President's Administration note, Poroshenko did not see the need to supplement the "parallel vertical of the law enforcers."
And what about Rada? In February 2017, a group of deputies in the inter-factional association of "Eurooptimists" registered in the parliament a bill that prescribes the creation of the Supreme Anti-Corruption Court and the Anti-Corruption Chamber in the Supreme Court of Ukraine. Since February, everyone forgot about the document. However, after the Venice Commission advised to introduce a bill regulating the activities of the Anti-Corruption Court on behalf of the President of Ukraine, the corresponding initiative is no longer seriously considered and will be withdrawn. The Parliament’s profile committee on legal policy issues has already given an appropriate recommendation.
At first glance, the process moved from a dead center in the fall. A protest action began under the Verkhovna Rada. One of the demands of the protesters was the creation of the Anti-Corruption Court. In turn, Petro Poroshenko, through the mouth of his representative in the parliament of Iryna Lutsenko, suggested that parliamentarians create a working group to draft a bill on the Anti-Corruption Court. Lutsenko promised that Poroshenko would then present his project. Meanwhile, quiet sabotage continued in the session hall and beyond. Parliamentarians refused to withdraw the deputy bill from consideration, because according to the official version, Poroshenko could not submit his bill. According to 112.ua sources in the coalition factions, the reason for such actions is that contrary to his public position, Poroshenko does not want to create an Anti-Corruption Court.
However, in November, the representative of the president in the parliament, Iryna Lutsenko, said that Poroshenko was ready to introduce a bill on the Anti-Corruption Court.
"If such a working group is not created within two weeks and basic positions are not made, the president is ready to present his version of the Anti-Corruption Court and this bill in two weeks," the parliamentarian noted.
Later it became known that the profile parliamentary committee on legal policy recommended the parliament to withdraw the deputy bill on the Anti-Corruption Court. This decision removed a formal obstacle for the introduction of a similar presidential initiative. According to 112.ua sources in the parliamentary coalition and the presidential administration, the West has become more active in this matter.
"We were sent to the Verkhovna Rada and ambassadors (of G7, - 112.ua) asked directly, when the Anti-Corruption Court will be established. We assure them that we are working on this, and this will happen soon," the interlocutors note. As a possible reason for the activation, the threat of a suspension of funding from the West is called.
Ambassador’s visits can bring good results. According to one of the deputies who are members of the "Eurooptimists" association, the bill on the Anticorruption Court can be submitted already in December.
"Arthur (leader of Bloc Petro Poroshenko faction Artur Herasimov, - Ed.) promised us that the bill will be ready in December," our interlocutor notes.