Constitutional Court ruling undermines anti-corruption achievements in Ukraine

Issued by Transparency International Secretariat



On 26 February 2019, the Constitutional Court of Ukraine struck down Article 368-2 of the Criminal Code – the provision on illicit enrichment. This decision greatly weakens the country’s anti-corruption efforts, undermines up to 65 open investigations and has a direct impact on four cases against high-ranking officials that were already before the courts. Transparency International, together with its Ukrainian chapter, believes that the Constitutional Court’s decision violates Ukraine’s international commitments, and calls for the Ukrainian government to immediately take all necessary steps to rectify the situation.

“The Court’s resolution basically provides state officials with a way to legalise their possibly ill-gained assets and have no fear of criminal prosecution,” said Andrii Borovyk, Executive Director of TI Ukraine. “Moreover, the electronic declarations of public officials’ assets that have been successfully introduced as part of anti-corruption reforms will now lose their purpose due to the lack of criminal responsibility for illicit enrichment. Eventually, provisions against deliberately declaring false information will also lose their purpose, as there will be no need to hide assets.”

According to Ukrainian law, the decision of the Constitutional Court is binding, final, and cannot be appealed. The Court argued that the Article violated the presumption of innocence and the right to refuse to testify. However, Transparency International Ukraine’s analysis of Article 368-2 and the Court’s decision proves that the Article did not place the burden of proof on the accused. The burden of proof lay with the prosecution. The provision did not oblige a public servant to prove the legitimacy of assets acquired, but provided accused individuals with the chance to confirm the legitimate origin of their assets.

The Government of Ukraine should take responsibility for the cases that investigators, prosecutors, and judges will be forced to close due to the ruling. Even if a new law on illicit enrichment is introduced and adopted, it will not be retroactive, leaving all current cases closed and allowing the corrupt to escape justice.

The National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine has called the Court’s decision a politically motivated move that will severely impact their current investigations.

 “If the systemic legislative problems in Ukraine are not resolved and cases of illicit enrichment are abandoned, many of the country’s anti-corruption achievements will have been in vain,” said Delia Ferreira Rubio, Chair of Transparency International. “Officials accused of corruption should be prosecuted and rule of law established. If no solution is found, there is a chance that the country’s visa-free regime with the EU and financial assistance from the IMF will be frozen, hampering the country’s economic development.”


For any press enquiries please contact

Michael Hornsby
E: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
T: +49 30 34 38 20 666

Latest

Support Transparency International

Support Us

New Report: Who is behind the wheel? Fixing the global standards on company ownership

To counter crime and corruption, law enforcement authorities around the world need to be able to swiftly uncover the identities of the real owners of companies. Transparency International argues that public registers of beneficial ownership should be the norm.

هل سيشعل الفساد المستشري فتيل الخريف العربي؟

خلال الشهرين الماضيين، اجتاحت موجة من الاحتجاجات شوارع مصر والعراق ولبنان. وبلغ عدد المحتجين الذين نزلوا إلى الشوارع في لبنان أكثر من مليون شخص ينددون بالظلم، وكان ذلك غالبا في تحدّ للقمع العنيف الذي تمارسه السلطات. وعلى الرغم من اختلاف المطالب التي نادى بها المحتجون في البلدان الثلاثة، بل تختلف حتى فيما بين الحركات في نفس البلد، إلا أن هذا الغضب العارم قام على قاسم مشترك بينها: الفساد وسوء الإدارة المالية للحكومات.

Will rampant corruption spark an Arab Autumn?

A common factor has underpinned mass protests in Egypt, Iraq and Lebanon over the past two months: outrage over corruption and financial mismanagement by governments.

Better blending: how the World Bank can promote transparency in financing sustainable development

As the World Bank holds its annual meetings in Washington D.C this week, Transparency International is calling for greater transparency, accountability and participation in the World Bank’s contribution to financing the 2030 Agenda.

Fighting corruption in the age of “fake news”

"Fake news" has become a major threat to public trust in democracy and news media outlets over the past years. The fight against corruption is also affected.

Right to information: a tool for people power

Globally, approximately 120 countries have right to information laws. In some countries, these laws are top notch, but in others, the laws either don’t exist or need significant improvements. On International Right to Know Day, citizens are speaking out around the world to demand greater accountability from government. But are most people even aware of their right to request information in the first place?

Global Corruption Barometer - Latin America and the Caribbean 2019

The Global Corruption Barometer (GCB) – Latin America & Caribbean highlights the disproportionate effect that corruption has on women and a significant lack of political integrity among government leaders.

Mujeres y corrupción en Latinoamérica y el Caribe

A lo largo de la última década, cada vez más mujeres de Latinoamérica y el Caribe han alzado la voz en reclamo de igualdad de derechos para las mujeres y las niñas.

Social Media

Follow us on Social Media