Kyiv, December 11, 2015. Work of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) may be blocked because of lawsuits challenging the results of the competition for electing prosecutors to the Anti-corruption prosecutor’s office, said during a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center Kateryna Levchenko, head of the selection commission (hereinafter – Commission) and Victor Shyshkin, member of the Commission. “It is not so much a desire to stop the Commission from working as efforts to stop work of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine, the Anti-corruption prosecutor’s office of Ukraine, without which the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine cannot work. Thus someone wants to slow down the movement of the Ukrainian society, the Ukrainian state towards the formation of anti- corruption bodies,” said Levchenko.
Currently, according to participants in the briefing, there are three lawsuits challenging the results of the competition, two from the acting prosecutors and one from the person, exempted in compliance with the Law On cleaning power.
Levchenko explained that the formal basis for challenging the committee’s decisions was vague wording of the Law of Ukraine “On Prosecution”. It is Section 3.1. of the transitional provisions of the Law of Ukraine “On Prosecution”, which prohibits former employees of law enforcement agencies that had been responsible for fighting corruption for five years by July 15, 2015 (the date the Law entered into force) to work in the Anti-corruption prosecutor’s office. In particular, the article uses the term “unit of the fight against corruption”, but contains no explanation of whether it is a department, management or headquarters. Therefore, the commission had to decide on this issue. “The commission has concluded that under “unit” we should understand a minimal internal structural unit, i.e. a department. If the department did not contain the phrase “anti-corruption” or “fighting corruption”, we allowed this person (an applicant who had working experience in such units) to participate in the competition,” explained Shyshkin.
The commission had to determine the norms of the Law “On cleaning power.” In particular, it prohibits employing to public service prosecutors, who were exempted pursuant to the Law. According to the Commission, work of the Anti-corruption prosecutor’s office is a public service, so lustrated people were not allowed to participate in the competition.
Despite the judicial cases, the committee continues its work. Levchenko said that the competition for selecting heads of the Anti-corruption prosecutor’s office departments is almost over. On December 10, head of procedural management and representation of interests, as well as head of research and statistics department were appointed. On December 11, the Commission will recommend candidates for managerial positions of three divisions to Head of the Anti-corruption prosecutor’s office. “According to our plans, the management team of the Anti-corruption prosecutor’s office will be formed next week […], and an open competition for the positions of prosecutors to the Anti-corruption prosecutor’s office will be held,” announced Levchenko.