World Bank expects its remarks to bill on Anti-Corruption Court to be taken into account
The World Bank (WB) expects its remarks to the bill on the Anti-Corruption Court to be taken into account during the preparation of the document for second reading, the press service of the bank's office in Ukraine has told Interfax-Ukraine.
According to a representative of the World Bank office in Ukraine, the letter itself implies that it is possible to make changes between the first and second reading.
Earlier, World Bank Country Director for Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine Satu Kahkonen sent a letter to the Verkhovna Rada and the Presidential Administration warning that the bill on the Anti-Corruption Court could not be adopted in the wording proposed by the president and that Ukraine should bring the bill into line with the recommendations of the Venice Commission, which will help receive the World Bank's estimated $800 million Policy-Based Guarantee (PBG) to support key reforms in Ukraine.
As reported, on December 22, 2017, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko's draft law, titled "On the High Anti-Corruption Court" was registered in Ukraine's Verkhovna Rada. The text of the bill was published on December 26, 2017.
The IMF, in turn, officially notified the Ukrainian authorities that the adoption of the presidential bill in its current wording would mean the violation by Kyiv of its obligations to international partners.
"The submission by the President of the draft law on the High Anti-Corruption Court (HACC, draft law 7440) was expected to be a positive step in this direction [fighting corruption]. However, we have serious concerns about the draft law that was submitted to Parliament on December 22, as several provisions are not consistent with the authorities' commitments under Ukraine's IMF-supported program and the recommendations of the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe," reads a letter from IMF Mission Chief for Ukraine Ron van Rooden to Head of the Presidential Administration Ihor Rainin.
The IMF has nine systemic concerns.
In particular, the IMF insists that the Public Council of International Experts includes not only international organizations, but also donors in line with the recommendations of the Venice Commission and its representatives' negative decision about the appointment of an ineligible judge should be binding on the High Qualification Commission of Judges (HQCJ).
"The role of the Public Council of International Experts (PCIE) in the selection of the HACC judges should be made crucial, not just advisory… A negative decision about a candidate by the PCIE should be binding on the HQCJ," the IMF said in the letter.
The jurisdiction of the HACC should align with the investigative jurisdiction of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) and the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office (SAPO).
The IMF said that the draft law opens opportunities for additional delays in establishing the HACC.
Finance Minister Oleksandr Danyliuk said that the IMF expected the correction of a draft law on the Anti-Corruption Court in accordance with Ukraine's obligations as part of the EFF program during the bill's preparation for second reading.
"Last week, during my working visit to the United States, I had more than one meeting with representatives of the IMF and the U.S. government. One of the issues discussed with representatives of the fund was the creation of the Anti-Corruption Court. The IMF put forward several proposals to the respective draft law and expects them to be considered and taken into account by parliament when preparing the document for second reading," Danyliuk said.