ТI Ukraine and RPR Demand From the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine to Report On the Course of the Investigation of the Corrupt Offences Committed During the Yanukovych’s regime
In March 2014 the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine opened the first criminal proceeding against the fugitive former president Viktor Yanukovych and other figures in the corrupt regime.
The key offenders though, have been sanctioned by the European Union with both travel bans and asset freezes. The list includes Vitaly Zakharchenko, Victor Pshonka, Olena Lukash, Andrii Kliuiev, Victor Ratushniak, Oleksandr Yanukovych, Artem Pshonka, Serhii Kliuiev, Mykola Azarov, Serhii Kurchenko, Dmytro Tabachnyk, Serhyi Arbuzov, Yuriy Ivaniushenko, Oleksandr Klymenko, and Eduard Stavytskyi. To date, not a single member of the regime has been brought to justice.
Transparency International Ukraine and the Reanimation Package of Reforms Anti-corruption Group, have been carefully monitoring the progress of these investigations since their launch. According to the information we have, criminal proceedings concerning the occupation of Mezhyhiria and Sukholuchchia, abuse of power in the case of Ukrtelecom, and receiving improper benefits from publishers are being conducted against Viktor Yanukovych.
A number of proceedings against Yanukovych’s allies are being investigated as well. Sadly, the scope of the crimes committed are so large and complex, that a complete list of charges has still not been brought before the court.
To be clear, bringing the perpetrators to justice is just one goal of the proceedings. Equally as important, is the repatriation of assets stolen from Ukraine during the course of the Yanukovych regime.
Transparency International Ukraine and the Reanimation Package of reforms Anti-Corruption Group stress once again: in order to return the corrupt assets, there must be definitive court verdicts with concrete evidence of the defendants’ guilt. The time left for Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine to achieve this diminishes daily.
That is why, we publicly appeal to the Prosecutor General of Ukraine Yurii Lutsenko to update the citizenry on the current status of the investigation process, explain why the proceedings were not directed to the Court for consideration, and provide a clear time table for the prosecution. The civil society also demands from the Prosecutor General of Ukraine to establish clear timelines when all this will be done.
The Prosecutor General has already held his post for 100 days and no satisfactory changes regarding this case have taken place.
Real punishment of corrupt officials from the previous regime headed by Viktor Yanukovych, should serve as an effective deterrent to those who wish to repeat those acts. Corruption must be punished and the money obtained though corrupt practices, no matter where and how they are hidden, must be returned to the people of Ukraine.
Editorial note: This press release's title and contents were updated later on 18 August.
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