“Stealing a march”

The Day’s expert commented on Prime Minister Volodymyr Hroisman’s statement of his likely resignation in the event of the law on the Anti-Corruption Court failing to get passed

Prime Minister of Ukraine Volodymyr Hroisman is ready to resign as head of government, unless an independent Anti-Corruption Court is established in the country. “As Prime Minister of Ukraine, I have resolved for myself: unless this court, being a fair and independent one, is established, I will resign as prime minister of Ukraine and tender a letter to that effect,” Hroisman stated during a joint briefing with speaker of parliament Andrii Parubii.

“It is important that the Anti-Corruption Court law gets passed, otherwise, our failure to enact this important decision will undermine public confidence in the current government and state institutions, and international standing will be greatly damaged as well... I will work today with heads of factions and members of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine regarding the adoption of such a decision,” noted Hroisman.

In turn, the speaker of the Verkhovna Rada expressed his conviction that the law on the Anti-Corruption Court would be adopted at a meeting to be held this Thursday, June 7. “Everything must be done so that the decision on Thursday takes into account recommendations of the Venice Commission,” Parubii said.

“If there is a statement from Hroisman about the possible resignation, it means that such a decision has already been taken by him, he is simply looking for an appropriate occasion,” MP Vitalii Kuprii commented for The Day. “I think this is a play aimed at boosting public approval before the upcoming elections. Regarding the very idea of establishing the Anticorruption Court, I believe that it is now unneeded to bring corrupt officials to account. Even if the relevant law is adopted, it is unlikely that it will work under the current conditions. The law on the State Bureau of Investigations (SBI) was adopted three years ago, but the SBI has not started its operations since. Who can guarantee that this will not happen to the Anti-Corruption Court as well? The intended first-line agency in the fight against corruption is the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU), which not only fails to bring its cases to court, but also refuses outright to register criminal proceedings against top corrupt officials. This is proved by dozens of court decisions in proceedings that I won after complaints to the Solomianskyi District Court in Kyiv. Moreover, they concern top leaders of the state: Petro Poroshenko, Volodymyr Hroisman, Yurii Lutsenko... Even when there is a court decision, the NABU still does not launch an investigation. Why do we need the Anti-Corruption Court to interrogate a witness in a case? There is no need whatsoever for it there, nor where we need to register and conduct an investigation. Under the pressure of international bodies, the current government imitates support for the fight against corruption, but it is actually a complete fiction. They should stop corruption among their own inner circle first.”