Parliament plans to permit seizure of property, subject to convincing proof
The Ukrainian parliament has supported at first reading a draft law, which would permit the seizure of the property of any persons as a part of an investigation into criminal cases if law-enforcement agencies have enough proof.
An Interfax-Ukraine correspondent has reported that 232 MPs support the government's draft law (No. 2540-a) on amending the Criminal Code of Ukraine regarding seizure of property to remove corruption risks.
Justice Minister of Ukraine Pavlo Petrenko presented the draft law in parliament.
"These laws allow law-enforcement agencies to arrest property as a part of investigation into criminal cases concerning corruption," he said.
According to the draft law, it is proposed that seizure of property is defined as a temporarily ban on selling, managing and using property, for which there are enough grounds to believe that it is linked to a crime or person who is suspected of a crime or a company against which criminal procedural measures could be taken, under a court ruling.
The draft law says that property can be arrested to provide special seizure as a form of punishment and compensate damage caused due to a crime.
Some lawmakers expressed fears that under the draft law, property could be arrested unjustly.
Petrenko said that this will not happen as under the current criminal and procedural code investigators are to provide justified reasons for seizures
"We propose that well-reasoned grounds are presented," he said.
In addition, the parliament passed at first reading the draft law (No. 2541-a) on amending the Criminal and Civil Codes of Ukraine on improving the institution of special seizures to remove corruption risks. A total of 229 MPs supported this draft law.
Petrenko said that the document proposes that a new initiative should be introduced: a special seizure to be applied to intended crimes.
The minister said that it should be permitted to use special seizure of property of persons who committed acts of separatism, terrorist attacks, or other actions that threatened Ukraine's national security.
The minister said that the law establishes the liability of proof.