14:15 16.01.2018

IMF expects correction of bill on Anti-Corruption Court before second reading

IMF expects correction of bill on Anti-Corruption Court before second reading

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) expects 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, the Finance Ministry has told Interfax-Ukraine.

"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," the ministry's press service quoted Finance Minister Oleksandr Danilyuk as saying.

According to him, it is important for the IMF to see an effective and productive Anti-Corruption Court, which is the last stage in the formation of anti-corruption bodies.

"It is important that we, as a result, get a law that will start a new stage in the fight against corruption in Ukraine and launch an effective independent Anti-Corruption Court," Danyliuk said.

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.

"The establishment and operation of the HACC is a key pillar of Ukraine's anti-corruption agenda… In its current form, however, we would not be able to support the draft law of the HACC. In this respect, the IMF staff stand ready to support the Presidential Administration to revise the draft law in line with the authorities' commitments under the IMF-supported program and the Venice Commission's recommendations," the IMF said in the letter.

The letter was also sent to a number of high-ranking Ukrainian officials, in particular, Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman and Verkhovna Rada Chairman Andriy Parubiy.

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