This issue covers:

- update on investigation against SAPO head Kholodnytskyi; 
- NABU news: auditor and first indictment following e-declarations campaign;
- anticorruption court news;
- MPs once again failed to abolish e-declarations for anticorruption activists; 
- recommended reading

Investigation Against SAPO Head
Nazar Kholodnytskyi

On April 4 NABU released audio recordings tapped in Kholodnytsky's office. Previously journalists saw a text of the complaint, sent by NABU director Sytnyk to the Qualification Disciplinary Commission of the Prosecutors. He is calling for Kholodnytskyi’s dismissal due to following allegations:

— neglect of duty and abandonment of duty;
— disclosure of secrecy of investigation;
— committing
 actions that dishonor the title of prosecutor and cast doubt on his being objective, unbiased and independent, also on integrity of the Prosecution office;
— gross violation of the prosecutor’s ethics code;
— interference or any other influence on the part of a prosecutor into professional activity of another prosecutor, officials or judges.

NABU tapped Kholodnytskyi's conversations about acting Minister of Healthcare Ulana Suprun, MP Logvynsky, businessman Bakhmatyuk, former head of NACP Korchak and Odesa mayor Trukhanov.  More details

We also prepared an explanation answering frequently asked questions: What would happen with NABU ongoing investigations if the SAPO head is dismissed? Will NABU be able to start cases without the SAPO Head? What may be next? More details


On April 4 Members of Parliament decided to question NABU and SAPO heads on the situation regarding the investigation against Nazar Kholodnytskyi. However, the whole conversation ended up with attacking NABU and Sytnyk with almost no questions per se. 

On the same day, ​Rada anticorruption committee​ announced a new competition for NABU auditor. It’s expected that call for candidates will last for a month, until May 4. According to the procedure, adopted by the Committee, it shall start interviews with the candidates not sooner than in mid-May.

As a reminder: negative results of NABU external audit is a legal ground for NABU Director dismissal. Auditing commission should consist of three experts, delegated by the Verkhovna Rada, the President and the Cabinet of Ministers. For the first time Rada anticorruption committee nominated U.S. attorney Rob Storch for this position back in December 2016, since that time the Parliament cannot approve an independent candidacy. 

In late March the NABU together with the SAPO filed the indictment against the Head of the State Auditing Service Lidiya Havrylova. She is accused of illicit enrichment of UAH 10 million and declaring false information. This is the first finished case against top official to be sent to the court following e-declaration campaign.

Anticorruption Court News

In late March Speaker of the Parliament sent an invitation to the Venice Commission experts to assist the Parliament with development of the draft law on anticorruption court for the second reading. 

In the meantime, the Committee on Legal Policy and Justice failed to establish a working group for development of the draft law for the second reading. Moreover, head of the Committee Kniazevych decided he needs a confirmation from the Speaker that it is this very committee that has to consider the draft law. This decision has no basis in the Rules of Procedure of the Parliament and serves only as a pretext for postponement of consideration of the draft law at least by mid-May.

Kniazevych claimed the committee shall gather on April 11, should it receive confirmation from the Speaker by that time. However, since the committee rarely gathers even during the plenary weeks, meeting on non-plenary days does not seem realistic at all. 

MPs Again Failed to Abolish E-Declarations for Anticorruption Activists

Iryna Lutsenko, President's representative in the Rada said that since everybody has had the chance to see “who is who”, e-declaration can now be cancelled. “The faction stance is to cancel e-declarations. The society had the chance to see anti-corruption activists’ incomes of 1.5 million UAH a year, more than that of the President, Prime Minister and Prosecutor General…” – she said live on the “112 Ukraine“ television channel on April 2. More details.

However, Members of Parliament anyway haven't supported abolishment of e-declarations for anticorruption activists on April 3. Thus, for example, more than half of Poroshenko's Block MPs failed to vote for a respective draft law.

Recommended Reading

Tables Turned On Anticorruption Activists In Ukraine - RFE/RL

Foam Butts, Black Labs, and Straight Jackets: Kyiv Activists Lampoon New Restrictions - Atlantic Council