Head of the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office (SAP) Nazar Kholodnytsky called the decision of Ukraine’s Constitutional Court to recognize the article of the Criminal Code on the illicit enrichment unconstitutional the strike against the anti-corruption system as 112 Ukraine reported.
“It was a very serious surprise for us. I will tell openly, it is the strike against the SAPO and the whole anti-corruption reform in general. Concerning the number of the criminal proceedings, 65 are opened as for today, there are some of them with the initiated investigation. Four criminal proceedings were filed to the court in 2016-2019. Almost all of them should be definitely closed,” Kholodnytsky reported.
According to the SAP Head, all criminal proceeding should be closed by the detectives or prosecutors due to the decision of the court to cancel the article on the illicit enrichment and those with the served charges can be closed only by the prosecutors. The prosecutor is obliged to refuse from the supporting of the public prosecution during the next session on the proceedings.
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.