Kyiv, August 28, 2015. The First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Andriy Parubiy, and Head of the Center for Combating Corruption, Vitaliy Shabunin, presented a list of 10 candidates for the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor Election Commission at Ukraine Crisis Media Center. Parubiy said that MPs could select seven out of the ten proposed people, as the law provides for a delegation of seven people from the parliamentary factions, and four from the Prosecutor General. According to him, one of the new session’s most important issues is the election of the competition commission. “We should elect the competition commission this week, which, in its turn, should elect Anti-Corruption Prosecutor as soon as possible. It is imperative that these are not party officials, party activists, but well-known and trustworthy public figures and experts,” said Parubiy.
The list includes lawyers, journalists and human rights activists. Among them there are well-known international corruption fighters: Giovanni Kessler, Director General of the European Anti-Fraud Office and Mary Butler, Deputy Chief of the International Unit Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section of the U.S. Department of Justice. The list also includes Ukrainian investigative journalists, like Olexa Shalayskiy, co-founder of the Our Money journalist investigation portal, Dmytro Hnap, co-founder of Hromadske.TV and the Slidstvo.Info journalist investigation project. There are also public figures and scientists among the candidates, including Viktor Musiyaka and Volodymyr Halahan, corruption fighter Vitaliy Shabunin, Chief lustrator of the country Tetiana Kozachenko, human rights activist Olexandr Matviychuk and head of Ukrainian Reform Media Center Taras Kachka.
According to Shabunin, after the adoption of the Criminal Procedure Code, the prosecutor becomes a key figure in the investigation, as he gives necessary guidelines to investigators and approves any serious investigative procedural action. “Now imagine that a new Anti-Corruption Bureau with elected investigators is given into the hands of the old Prosecutor General’s Office. It means death; such a bureau cannot do anything,” said Shabunin. Therefore, the Anticorruption Prosecutor Office should be absolutely independent and newly elected on every level, with a key person is its head, he stressed. “Now I see an attempt to make the whole election process dependent on the Prosecutor General’s Office, so the position of Parliament is very important. These seven people from Parliament may balance the Prosecutor General’s Office’s wish to spoil the whole competition,” said Shabunin, referring to the members of the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor Election Commission, designated by the Prosecutor General. He stressed that the key requirements for the candidates should be their professional skills, moral values and results, rather than party quotas.
According to estimates by the Head of the Center for Combating Corruption, the Anti-Corruption Bureau will really start working this December, and not in October as was previously expected. The reason is that investigators will be trained until mid-October. If the commission is voted by parliament next week, we will have a special prosecutor office head in the first week of October.