President Poroshenko dissatisfied with the independence of the National anti-corruption Bureau and tries to push him to his people.
In the beginning of winter, “the battle of auditors” there is no winner, and the outcome is trembling of those who fear an end to fighting corruption. In the game now the appointment of three external auditors who are mandated to assess the work of the National anticorruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU), the main Agency in the country to combat embezzlement, misappropriation of funds and bribery.
On 26 may, the government presented a candidate: it was the sociologist Michael Buromenskiy, which according to critics has a large experience in anti-corruption sphere. Anyway, his loyalty to the authorities no doubt. After the story of the British private detective who was not a candidate for this post, the Parliament and the President (they are responsible for two other purposes) took a wait and carefully consider the prospect of a new confrontation.
It’s important: after the appointment of the auditors will have the right to change the leadership of the NEB, that is, to limit so dearly purchased independence. The formation of the Bureau was intended to correct the gaps of the Prosecutor General and from the very beginning was accompanied by the obstruction of the authorities, which sought to delay the new Agency and limit its prerogatives. Only the concerted pressure of civil society and the international creditors of Ukraine will bring the case before the end of spring 2015.
Since then, the Bureau has gained a reputation as an independent organization, having made accusations against the head of tax service and a number of high-ranking officials around the President. “The one against whom they can do nothing, it’s the US Ambassador,” jokes the political scientist Konstantin Bondarenko.
Not particularly outstanding results
President Petro Poroshenko strictly controls all the other departments, and work NABU becomes an unpleasant thorn to the government. “Its very existence and independence mean that the President can not guarantee the inviolability of its allies” — says Daria kaleniuk of the anti-corruption action Center. Serhiy Leshchenko, who escaped from the presidential camp, the former Deputy reformer, believes that the struggle for the appointment of auditors is an “attempt by the President to change the leadership of the NAB to increase its credibility among officials and politicians.”
Despite the widespread support, particularly from Western governments, the results do not impress. Of the 319 cases have been brought to court only 57, and the conviction has not sounded never. The head of the NABOO Sytnyk explains this slowness and unfairness of the judicial system reform, which was initiated but still remains a major black hole after the Maidan.
Prosecutor General Yury Lutsenko, in turn, associates it with the “youth” of the Bureau and advocated more active cooperation. He also spoke about the difficulties the successful completion of complex cases, which often go offshore, with a small number of qualified investigators.
In the relations of the old and new guard confirmed the suspicion. “We do not receive the slightest support from the President, and other agencies, we put a spoke in the wheel”, — says a source in the NAB. When in March the head of the tax service Roman Nasirov was detained at the request of the Bureau, dozens of civil society activists camped that was not released under false pretenses.
The government’s attitude also serves as an indicator of the reluctance of the state to deal decisively with corruption. Recent events have demonstrated that anti-corruption NGOs too can get under the sight. “The attacks were always, but they became especially a lot in the spring, since the entry into force of the law on electronic declarations,” said Daria kaleniuk. This measure, which is actively supported by civil society, has forced dozens of politicians and officials to publicly declare their huge property, thereby causing dissatisfaction of the population. For declarations while nothing happened, but the politicians clearly had not like that they were forced to put everything on display.
“The main goal”
The Parliament passed a law that requires civil organizations the same reporting and the media was running a campaign with accusations against the Center for combating corruption about the alleged misuse of allocated to it the work of American grants. On this subject the network has had as many as five “documentaries”, including one authored by member of the environment power.
After the investigation on the embezzlement of funds in health care in the home of his Director Vitaly Shabunina demonstrators gathered. Anyway, Ukrainian journalists were able to prove that came with placards “Give me my money back” people actually paid the SBU. “We became the main purpose of the SBU after he questioned their refusal of e-declarations, — says Daria kaleniuk. But they wouldn’t be doing this without the consent of the political power.”