Kyiv, March 29, 2016. Today Prosecutor General of Ukraine Viktor Shokin fired his deputy Davit Sakvarelidze, later today Shokin himself was dismissed by the Verkhovna Rada (parliament). Sakvaleridze said that main reason for his dismissal was blatant violation of prosecutor’s ethics. “I indeed violated what the prosecutor’s ethics is in their understanding. It includes theft, corruption and team cover-up. I have violated the ethics code of a mafia group,” said Davit Sakvarelidze at a press-briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center.
The formal pretext for it became a “collective claim” from MPs Sergiy Kivalov, Dmytro Golubov, Oleksandr Presman and others. “One of them is an international embezzler, another one is the ‘Russian world’ supporter, third one is the chief smugglers of Odesa, fourth one has a criminal record for a series of crimes,” added Sakvarelidze. He said many of them have corruption interests in the city of Odesa in particular. “We impeded their intentions. I purposefully asked that the signatures of these persons are placed on my resignation note. In such a way I will have a record in my CV that I was doing the right thing in the right time in Ukraine,” he said. According to Sakvarelidze such an attack on him and his team shows that authorities do not need real reforms in Ukraine.
Davit Sakvarelidze noted that two days ago he had a meeting with President Poroshenko, Sakvarelidze said that he was not going to resign on his own. Then his dismissal followed. Today Sakvarelidze had another meeting with the President at which the President told him that the decision had not been agreed with him. However according to Vasyl Hatsko, leader of the “Democratic Alliance” party who was one of the speakers at the briefing, it was Petro Poroshenko who made the decision to dismiss Sakvarelidze. According to Hatsko, this dismissal aims at decreasing the number of candidates to the post of the new Prosecutor General.
Former Deputy Prosecutor General Vitaliy Kasko notes that the current developments come as revenge against all people who wanted to introduce changes to the Prosecutor’s Office. “The issue is now about all investigators and prosecutors who trusted us and started reforms. What is waiting for them? Criminal probes, blackmail and threats to their families,” he said. Kasko said five criminal cases had been filed against him. “Reforming is the act of honor. We do not have the right to leave our work,” he added.
According to MP Viktor Chumak, cleansing of reformers is taking place now. Davit Sakvarelidze and Vitaliy Kasko were pushing the situation from inside. “It is impossible to reform current Prosecutor’s Office. A person needs to step in that will build a parallel structure,” Chumak is convinced.
MP Yehor Firsov, recently stripped off the mandate by the Central Election Commission and earlier expelled from the Block Petro Poroshenko, noted that the system can fire, strip off the mandate etc. but the main thing that people understand everything perfectly well. “We are going to unite the people in their movement forward. I am sure it will give a quick and concrete result,” Firsov noted.
According to Yehor Sobolev, MP of Samopomich party, the country has a big chance to find an independent Prosecutor General. The new Prosecutor General will definitely return back in office everyone who demonstrated themselves as honest and professional investigators and prosecutors.