Transparency International demands Kyiv's response to published judgment on seizing Yanukovych's assets
The Transparency International (TI) Ukraine demands that Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko and Verkhovna Rada Speaker Andriy Parubiy respond to the Al Jazeera publication of the text of the Kramatorsk District Court's classified judgment seizing the assets attributed to former President Viktor Yanukovych in the amount of around $1.5 billion.
"TI Ukraine urges Ukrainian officials to do the following. Prosecutor General of Ukraine Yuriy Lutsenko, urgently to make an official statement regarding the document published by Al Jazeera journalists and confirm or contest its authenticity, as well as explain what information precisely had to be protected so much that the court decision had to be hidden from the public for over 8 months; to announce and substantiate the stance of the Prosecutor General’s Office concerning legitimacy of the use of special seizure procedure in this case," the organization's official website said.
The organization is demanding that Parubiy "to initiate the establishment of a parliamentary investigative commission to investigate the legitimacy of actions of the Prosecutor General’s Office and Military Prosecutor’s Office of ATO Forces."
"The Prosecutor General's Office created an artificial mystery around the document. It resulted in foreign journalists publishing the court decision including all personal information of the individual who had made an agreement with the investigation," TI Ukraine said.
"We believe that the role of schemes of legalizing the income of ICU management, a company whose clients include President Poroshenko, requires additional study and evaluation. Risks of possible return of the seized funds from the Ukrainian budget if the national or international court institutions were to grant the requests made by lawyers of the owners of the seized assets should be assessed as well," the statement said.
On January 10, Al Jazeera published the text of the 95-page judgment issued by the Kramatorsk District Court on March 28, 2017, which was later classified as constituting a state secret.
Al Jazeera said the judgment reveals the schemes used for misappropriating the state funds under Viktor Yanukovych and asked why the decision was classified.
The text of the Kramatorsk District Court's judgment especially seizing $1.5 billion from people in Yanukovych's entourage is classified due to ongoing investigative activity and in order to protect the people involved in the trial, Ukrainian Deputy Prosecutor General Yevhen Yenin said.
"The reason why the court judgment was classified was not to protect certain officials or commercial entities [...] The motive for our decision was that active investigative actions are underway with respect to the overwhelming majority of the companies in question, including under international jurisdiction through international legal assistance channels," Yenin said at a press briefing on Thursday.