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Creation of anti-corruption court critical for cooperation with Ukraine – World Bank

NABU and SAP have prepared more than 90 cases that have been brought to court, but there are still no decisions on them.

Creation of anti-corruption court critical for cooperation with Ukraine – World Bank
Photo: Photo: ABS-CBN News

The creation of the Anti-Corruption Court is a critical issue for the World Bank's cooperation with Ukraine, Satu Kahkonen, World Bank Country Director for Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova said on the 1+1 TV channel on Thursday, 25 January.

Kahkonen stressed that Ukraine's Anti-Corruption Bureau and the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office have already investigated over 90 cases that have been brought to court but there are still no decisions on them. This indicates the importance of creation of an anti-corruption court, she said.

The World Bank insists that the three provisions in the presidential bill should be revised as they delay the creation of the anti-corruption court.

In particular, Kahkonen noted, the presidential bill does not specify the number of judges while bans creating a court before all judges are appointed.

"It is inconsistent. [The bill] should set forth the number of judges and there is no reason to expect until all judges are selected and appointed," said the World Bank official.

Earlier, the World Bank said Ukraine may be deprived of 800mn dollars because of the flawed anti-corruption court bill.

The creation of the anti-corruption court is one of the main requirements of the Western creditors of Ukraine. The policy has long been blocked as the government insisted on the creation of a separate court chamber within the existing system. \

In the autumn of 2017, the government's rhetoric changed, and the Verkhovna Rada in December unblocked the submission of a presidential bill on anti-corruption court. In a short while, the document was submitted to parliament.

Nevertheless, the Rada on January 18 refused to put the bill in the agenda. The representative of the president in the parliament Iryna Lutsenko said that the bill will in accordance with the recommendations of the Venice Commission and the IMF. By optimistic forecasts, the court will be able to start working in mid-2018.

The IMF has said they expect the pension reform bill will also be amended during its preparation for the second reading.

The Fund has repeatedly said that the creation of the Anti-Corruption Court is a key requirement of the program of cooperation between Ukraine and the IMF.

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