Parliament has passed amendments to the Criminal Procedural Code of Ukraine and other legislative acts of Ukraine to strengthen the independence of the Specialised Anticorruption Prosecutor's Office (draft law 10060).
The bill backed by 298 MPs improves the procedure for competitive selection of prosecutors and management. The SAPO is separated from the Prosecutor-General's Office into a separate body. New mechanisms of disciplinary control and external audit of the SAPO are envisaged.
Amendments to the time limit for investigation before serving a suspicion noticed are cancelled. During the period of martial law, a period of 30 months was set for the investigation before serving a suspicion notice, now these restrictions have been cancelled and the investigation can continue indefinitely.
"Strengthening the independence of the Specialised Anticorruption Prosecutor's Office is one of the IMF's flags for receiving assistance and recommendations provided in the European Commission's opinion to further strengthen the fight against corruption... This requirement was voiced by our international partners, who are concerned that those involved in corruption cases are avoiding punishment and saving property obtained through corruption due to the limited timeframe of the investigation," wrote Iryna Herashchenko, a member of the European Solidarity faction.
For his part, MP Yaroslav Zheleznyak of the Voice faction noted that "unfortunately, the law only partially cancelled some of the provisions of the Lozovyy amendments... The adoption of the bill is one of the main requirements of the G7 ambassadors. However, the position of the latter on the Lozovyy amendments was ignored".
The Anticorruption Action Centre has already announced the registration of a petition to the president, demanding the cancellation of the so-called Lozovyy amendments in full.
As reported earlier, today parliament also adopted several bills important for European integration: a draft law allowing the NAPC to check the property of officials acquired before they entered public service; a draft law to increase the NABU's staff by 300 people; and a draft law on national minorities, taking into account the expert assessment of the Council of Europe.
- At the end of November, Ursula von der Leyen said that Ukraine had fulfilled almost all the recommendations for starting negotiations on EU accession. The start of Ukraine's accession process will be announced after the summit of European leaders in Brussels.
- Earlier it became known that the European Commission officially recommends starting the process of negotiations on Ukraine and Moldova's accession to the European Union. The head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said that Ukraine still needs to work on certain reforms, including the fight against corruption.
- In its report, the European Commission also emphasised the need to adopt a draft law on a transparent competition for the director of the Bureau of Economic Security and employees, as well as its reboot and accountability.