G7 and World Bank called the decision of the Constitutional Court on cancellation of the article on illicit enrichment “a serious setback in the fight against corruption in Ukraine”, as the joint statement of the organizations reported on Facebook says.
“The recent elimination of the illicit enrichment offence from the criminal code is a serious setback in the fight against corruption in Ukraine. This has weakened the impact of the whole anti-corruption architecture, including the soon to be established High-Anti-Corruption Court, which was expected to rule on a significant number of illicit enrichment cases, and the ability of the National Anti-corruption Bureau of Ukraine to investigate high-level corruption. The ongoing investigations and prosecutions for illicit enrichment held the promise of bringing accountability for those that had used their official position for personal gain,” the statement reads.
Ukrainian authority was urged to continue carrying out tens of investigations.
“The G7 and the World Bank call on Ukrainian authorities to step up efforts for safeguarding the effectiveness of anti-corruption legal tools and institutions, including by reinstating criminal liability for illicit enrichment in line with UN, OECD and ECHR principles and finding a way to continue the dozens of investigations and prosecutions threatened by this ruling,” the statement says.
Constitutional Court of Ukraine ruled unconstitutional an article of a Criminal Code on the illicit enrichment of public officials upon the pretext that the provisions of the article violate the presumption of innocence.
The Constitutional Court said that the legislative structure of Article 368-2 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine "permits accusations based on assumptions." In addition, it includes the provisions regulating the process of evidence, although this is related to the criminal procedure law.
In addition, the Constitutional Court said that the legislative definition of "illegal enrichment" as a crime makes it possible to shift this responsibility from the prosecution to the defense.
Later President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko signed the new draft law on the article on the illicit enrichment and later it was registered in the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.