David Sakvarelidze: Shokin and I are similar by nature: we stand up for our people to the end. I stand up for my investigators, he – for his “diamond” prosecutors

Kyiv, March 24, 2016. Yesterday and today the investigators of the General Inspection of the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine (PGO) engaged in corruption investigations in the PGO system, in particular, in “diamond prosecutors” case, were informed about their discharge. “7 investigators, 4 prosecutors and several IT specialists apparently have created a serious threat to the system. It will always be against such people, irrespective of whether Prosecutor General Shokin will be replaced with Stolyarchuk or someone else. If this team is not changed systemically, the same carve-up will persist in the country, while we will comfort ourselves and give new General Prosecutor time to change the system,” stated David Sakvarelidze, Deputy Prosecutor General of Ukraine at a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center. He noted that one of the “diamond” prosecutors – Korniyets – was Shokin’s manager. That is why the current Prosecutor General defends him so much.

Prior to this, the Prosecutor General’s Office filed criminal cases against all investigators and prosecutors of the Inspection and disclosed details of their personal lives. Mr. Sakvarelidze added that there is already an authorization to search them, to put them under surveillance and to tap their phones. “The Prosecutor General’s Office is trying to convince people that they have no sufficient moral qualities to work in the office. That is, as to the Prosecutor General Office, everything is all right in terms of their morality standards. The Prosecutor General Office has none questions to other departments, but these people appeared to be public enemies,” emphasized David Sakvarelidze. He stressed that he is not going to surrender, because it was he who persuaded this team to come to work in the Prosecutor General’s Office, and convinced them of the political will of the state leadership. At the same time his subordinates are offered appropriate positions, in particular, in National Anti-corruption Bureau of Ukraine. However, Mr. Sakvarelidze stressed that nobody is going to resign so easily. Recently the investigators were conducting inquests of 40 cases. “Let us do our job,” urged David Sakvarelidze.

According to the Deputy Prosecutor General, the situation raises many questions and doubts in the US, with the financial support of which the agency is reformed. In fact, such a program is suspended. As for the accusations of embezzlement of financial assistance, Mr. Sakvarelidze said that he has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the US donor funds, and not a contract to a certain sum, because he even has no authority to do that. “Let them interrogate international partners if they are not ashamed to do this, and finally understand how the donor organizations work,” he stated.

David Sakvarelidze urged the public to support the investigators. “They do not have diamonds and megabuck houses. They have other wealth – the faith in the new Ukraine. Their faith in the new Ukraine may be destroyed.[…] Shokin and I are similar by nature: we stand up for our people to the end. I stand up for my investigators, he – for his “diamond” prosecutors”- he stressed. A support action will be tomorrow about 11-00 in front of the Prosecutor General’s Office in Kyiv (Riznytska Street 13/15).