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What risk does the new amendment to Anti-Corruption Court law pose

Author : Mustafa Nayyem

Source : 112 Ukraine

Scandalous amendment to the law on the Anti-Corruption Court, which would allow the defendants to use the services of the corrupt judges, is pure cheating
09:20, 15 June 2018

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Scandalous amendment to the law on the Anti-Corruption Court, which would allow the defendants of dozens of cases of National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU) to use the services of the corrupt judges, is pure cheating.

Related: Will Ukraine's new Anticorruption court make a difference?

How did it happen?

  1. I am not a member of the profile committee, but I have been to its final meeting. I remember that neither during the discussion nor during the announcement was this amendment voiced by the head of the committee. The transcripts are not available yet, but we have watched the direct streams - the revision was not voiced.
  2. This revision was not voiced during the discussion and voting in the session hall. Speaking from the rostrum, the head of the committee read out all the key edits to the document, except this one. This can be verified in the transcript of the session of the parliament. After listing all the edits, there was only one phrase: "and other technical and legal edits." BUT. This is NOT technical and legal editing, but a significant addition, changing the essence of the document, which the head of the committee had to read, but did not do it.
  3. The only document where I found mentioning this revision is the transcript of the previous meeting of the profile committee of 21.05, where the following sentence is given:

"The requirement of the Venice Commission was also taken into account - the trial of criminal proceedings started in the courts of the first or appellate instance before the beginning of the work of the Supreme Anti-Corruption Court continued ... to be considered in these courts."

Related: Law on Supreme Anti-corruption court comes into force in Ukraine

But. First, there is no such requirement in any official document or release of the Venice Commission (Secretary of the Venice Commission Thomas Markert said that the Venice Commission did not insist on including this rule in the law). Secondly, this version of the changes was not displayed in the table for the second reading, and you can find it on the official website of the Verkhovna Rada.

That is, the parliament did not consider and could not vote for the editors of this rule, but voted to ensure that the affairs of NABU were considered in the Anti-Corruption Chamber. We should ask Ruslan Knyazevych what was the purpose to deliberately mislead the parliament.

Why is this dangerous?

Strictly speaking, this small paragraph will allow appealing to in the courts of general jurisdiction prior to the launch of the Anti-Corruption Court, so the cases would be considered by the current corrupted courts. It can touch Mykola Martynenko, Roman Nasirov, Gennady Trukhanov, Olexandr Onishchenko, Boryslav Rosenblat, and so on. A total of about 130 (!) cases.

Related: Will Europe help or hinder Ukraine in corruption fight?

How to fix it?

There are two ways. The first: a separate bill with amendments to the signed law should be introduced. The second: we should wait for the second reading of the presidential bill 7441 on the judicial system and register the appropriate amendment in the second reading. This is not a catastrophe, but this undisguised indulgence should be abolished in any case.

And the last. I do not take responsibility away from myself, as I voted for this version of the bill. But frankly, it was impossible to foresee such a level of fraud.

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or 112.International and its owners.

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