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Parliament passes informer law

Parliament has passed the bill "On Amendments to the Law of Ukraine 'On the Prevention of Corruption" regarding corruption whistleblowers" (No 1010), UNIAN has reported.

MP Halyna Yanchenko (Servant of the People), who is a deputy chairperson of the anticorruption committee, noted that this bil is set to protect whistleblowers.

In her introductory address, she noted that law enforcement had been failing to tackle corruption without additional help.

"Therefore, we are introducing additional legal protection, additional guarantees for whistleblowers, " Yanchenko added. The law not only provides for monetary rewards, but also a number of other guarantees, in particular, the ability to provide law enforcement with information about corrupt officials anonymously. The deputy added that the law covers both legal and psychological support of whistleblowers, protection of their labor rights, and even physical protection, including to their families, if required.

"But one of the main points of the bill is a monetary reward, which the Ukrainian government will provide to whistleblowers who have provided important information and facts to solve the high profile corruption crimes. We are talking about crimes involving damage of UAH10m and above," Yanchenko said.

The National Agency for the Prevention of Corruption is the body responsible for addressing whistleblowers' reports.

At the same time, MP Serhiy Vlasenko noted that the norms of the draft law were spelled out so that "this is a law on snitches, not whistleblowers."

He noted that the anonymity and lack of requirements for whistleblowers to reveal sources of their reports on corruption could lead to the same situation as it was during Soviet times when people would report on their neighbors to the KGB even if it seemed to them that something illegal was happening.

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