Experts: If the Constitutional Court cancels the law on lustration, it will signify full restoration of the oligarchic system


Kyiv, March 16, 2016. Today lustration takes place in Ukraine due to the civil society rather than power that often sabotages the process. This was stated by Oleksandra Drik, President of the NGO “Civic Lustration Committee,” during a briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center. According to her, currently the society is aware of seven schemes of avoiding the Law of Ukraine “On lustration”.  The most popular scheme is through the court. There are judges-champions in Kyiv, who particularly “save” officials from lustration: three judges of the District Administrative Court of Kyiv – Volodymyr Keleberda, Viktor Danylyshyn and Ihor Kachur. However, the most dangerous to the lustration process are regular attempts (the third attempt by now) of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine to cancel the document. “Its abolition will signify the full restoration of the oligarchic system. All achievements over the past 2 years will be gradually demolished,” emphasized Ms. Drik. She added that this can happen on March 23. Oleksandra Drik informed that the Prosecutor General’s Office has evidence of collusion between some judges of the Constitutional Court and Yanukovych to restore the Constitution of Ukraine of 1996. The investigation lasts 2 years, but no suspect has been served with charges yet.

President of the NGO “Civic Lustration Committee” noted that the civil society has also some victories for the last two years. For instance, 42 out of 50 top officials listed as avoiding lustration have been already lustrated. “Among them are the top state officials, deputy ministers, heads in the regions who were in positions contrary to the requirements of the Law “On lustration,” she explained. There has also been developed a register of all persons who subject to lustration. It includes 2577 people. “Lustrative bans [to hold positions in state agencies] apply not only to officials of the so-called “Yanukovych regime”, but also to the members of the parliament who are now in office. We cannot dismiss them because it is an elective position. But if they pretend to any other positions in the state authorities, they will be forbidden to hold them. Under the current law, these persons may not even be patrol officers in Kyiv,” noted Oleksandra Drik. Yuriy But, head of the Kyiv Regional Department of all-Ukrainian NGO “Committee of Ukrainian Voters” added that now there are more than 20 members of Parliament who subject to lustration.

Mr. But said that all in all, 900 persons have been lustrated. However, those who have resigned to avoid lustration are several times as many. “Such a manoeuvre allows them subsequently to find a job and ignoring the ban to avoid lustration,” said Mr. But. He noted that the public should track these people, although this is difficult, because information about them is carefully concealed.

Artem Omelchenko, director of the “Respublika” Institute monitoring project for implementation of legislation on the lustration”, cited statistics according to which, as of March 14, 92 persons were lustrated in Kyiv. It is the largest figure in Ukraine. 31 persons were lustrated in Kyiv region. None of them was lustrated  under the decommunization criteria. Property lustration figures are funny. “State Fiscal Service is sabotaging the process and conducting audits improperly. Because just the certificates issued by the Fiscal Service and the Security Service (SBU) are the grounds for lustration under the property and decommunization criteria,” said Mr. Omelchenko. According to Oleksandra Drik, “electronic declaration would have to compensate the property lustration which the Fiscal Service failed to conduct.”