IMF says president's anti-corruption court bill not consistent with Ukraine's commitments
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) officially notified Ukrainian authorities that the adoption of the bill on the High Anti-Corruption Court submitted by the Ukrainian president is not consistent with Ukrainian authorities' commitments to international partners, the Yevropeiska Pravda publication has reported, referring to a letter of IMF Mission Chief in Ukraine Ron van Rooden to Head of the Presidential Administration of Ukraine Ihor Rainin.
"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," Rooden said in the letter, a copy of which was published by the Yevropeiska Pravda publication.
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.