Constitutional Court's decision on unconstitutionality of Criminal Code article on illegal enrichment was taken without pressure and threats – court head
Head of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine Stanyslav Shevchuk assures that the decision on the unconstitutionality of the Criminal Code's article on illegal enrichment was taken without any political pressure, the judges were guided solely by the Constitution of Ukraine.
"I personally did not record any pressure, hints or threats. The same situation was with my colleagues. Nobody told me, did not report [about any pressure]," Shevchuk told reporters on Thursday, answering a question whether pressure was put on the court when making a decision.
In general, according to Shevchuk, for all the time of his work as head of the Constitutional Court there was no pressure and no requirements to make a definite decision.
He stressed that the court was guided solely by the Constitution of Ukraine, "not paying attention to the political situation."
As earlier reported, a source in the Constitutional Court reported that on February 26, 2019, the Constitutional Court of Ukraine designated Article 368-2 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine on illegal enrichment as unconstitutional, as its provisions do not comply with the principles of the rule of law and the presumption of innocence.
The decision of the Constitutional Court is binding, final and cannot be appealed.
National Anti-corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) said that the decision by the Constitutional Court means that all criminal proceedings related to the unlawful enrichment of the suspects will be closed. As well as the cases that are already being heard in court ... Resumption of the investigations... if the relevant article is returned to the Criminal Code will be impossible because the law has no retroactive effect. Therefore, the acquired property by default will be considered legal, regardless of its sources of origin.
President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko has stated that on February 28 he signed a draft law on criminal responsibility for illegal enrichment and ordered to register the document in the Verkhovna Rada as urgent.
Changes in Article 368-2 of the Criminal Code on illegal enrichment appeared in 2015. Ukrainian parliament adopted corresponding bill No. 1660-d in general in February 2015. It became one of the bills in the package of anti-corruption initiatives and was a condition for the liberalization of the visa regime with the EU, as well as the continuation of cooperation of Ukraine with the International Monetary Fund. In January 2018, a group of people's deputies attempted to decriminalize the article on illegal enrichment, registering corresponding bill No. 7499. However, the initiative caused resonance, as a result of which the people's deputies recalled the draft law.