The law on transparency of ownership is a key anticorruption law that motivated Mr. Sobolev to run for the seat in the parliament.
Kyiv, October 3, 2016. Revolutionary anti-corruption laws, almost impeccable attending parliamentary meetings and 4,517 deputy appeals – these results were announced by Yegor Sobolev, member of the parliament (MP) from Samopomich faction, at a briefing held at Ukraine Crisis Media Center.
According to Igor Kogut, Director of the USAID RADA Program, Yegor Sobolev’s public report was part of monitoring of MPs activity which is conducted due to the USAID program. In its turn, the program involves promoting the parliament and civic education on its activities.
Mr. Sobolev believes the Law of Ukraine “On the open use of public funds” to be his most important achievement as Head of the Parliament Anti-Corruption Committee. “This is what I went to the Parliament for. We do not have judicature, and we, probably, only now are creating an independent law enforcement agency – the National Anticorruption Bureau (NABU) and the Anticorruption Prosecutor’s office. But transparency, when active citizens and journalists can “scrutinize” what officials and their inner circle possess, is a very powerful anticorruption move,” said Yegor Sobolev.
Another anti-corruption measure was a change to the Criminal Code regarding illicit enrichment. Now the burden of proving the legality of fortune lies with officials. “Previously, law enforcement bodies had to prove that it was illegal. It was very difficult to prove that something had been stolen 10 years before. Especially in our corrupt bodies,” explained the MP.
Mr. Sobolev considers the NABU independence and creation of a separate anti-corruption prosecutor’s office, as well as detectives’ higher salaries, to be among other achievements. “If a senior detective or prosecutor earn 50,000 or UAH 100,000, they do not have to think where they could get money for their family, but rather how to imprison more corrupt officials,” noted Yegor Sobolev.
He also reminded of his co-authorship of the de-communization law.
According to Mr. Sobolev, his committee checks all the draft laws entering the Parliament for corruption risks. “We have found corruptogenic provisions in 297 draft laws, and none of them became the law,” he stressed. The MP called liberation of then Prosecutor General Yarema under the Parliament’s pressure an important precedent.
The MP singled out the “fight” with the Constitutional Court, which wants to abolish the law on cleaning power. “Dozens of meetings, important part in the court work. I participated in representing the Parliament’s position in hearings, told the Constitutional Court judges that this is the only legitimate mechanism for cleaning power, because without lustration – thousands of Yanukovych’s officials would be now in positions,” informed Mr. Sobolev.
In Sobolev’s opinion, the weakness of his activities is work with voters. According to him, he prepared 4,517 parliamentary appeals. “This is 4,400 less than I had to prepare. The number of people turning to me is huge. It is a great challenge for me: how to manage to read everything, to answer and to control the performance. This is the area where I am lagging behind and where I should put on speed,” he concluded. According to the MP, he has 94% of written registration the Verkhovna Rada sessions. “I shirked work only twice – when I participated in the Venice Commission, defending the law on cleaning power. As a result, they acknowledged that Ukraine has the right to such lustration. Another time – when I was in the hospital,” informed Mr. Sobolev.