Today, the parliament voted for the draft law on the Anti-Corruption Court in the first reading. According to Oksana Syroyid, Vice Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada, this decision is undoubtedly extremely important and progressive, “but for the survival of Ukraine it is crucial to ensure that the draft law provides for those aspects that will allow the Anti-Corruption Court to remain independent.”
As explained by Samopomich MP Olena Sotnyk, the faction has in mind several key things that should be introduced into the law by the time of the second reading because they will make the Anti-Corruption Court really capable of administering justice.
“First of all, the statements saying that by involving international experts in the selection process we violate the sovereignty and the Constitution of Ukraine are an obvious manipulation. In our alternative draft law, we spelled out this provision in accordance with the Constitution and we will submit appropriate amendments.
The second concern is about the cases that the Anti-Corruption Court should be dealing with. These should be exclusively the cases of top corruption investigated by the NABU. Because the essence of this court is that it should examine complex corruption cases having special experts and judges who will be competent to consider such cases and will be absolutely independent of the already cemented corrupt judicial system of this country.
The third and very important issue is the timeframe. The presidential bill is written in such a way that the court will be able to start working only in 3 or 4 years. Samopomich will offer very clear deadlines for each stage of the establishment of the court and each stage of the selection of judges.
The fourth one is the issue of financial independence. We have submitted a separate bill on changes to the Budget Code, which will ensure separate financing for the anti-corruption court,” the MP states.
Olena Sotnyk reminds that the National Anti-Corruption Bureau and the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office have been working for three years now, but there is still no court capable of sentencing corrupt officials.
“Hundreds of them might have avoided responsibility, since the current judicial system is not capable of passing judgments against high-level corruption. That is why all the attention and hopes of people today are focused on the Anti-Corruption Court. But everyone should understand that this court should fight only high-level corruption. It must be real, and sentences must be real. Because the society expects this,” concludes Olena Sotnyk.