Zelensky wants to equate corruption with treason and transfer it from NABU jurisdiction to the SSU: what it can threaten with
President Volodymyr Zelensky has put forward an initiative to parliament to equate corruption to high treason for the period of wartime. At the same time, the prosecutor-general will decide who will be in charge of investigating corruption cases, and the Security Service of Ukraine, not the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine, will be in charge of investigating such cases.
The head of state said this in an interview with Nataliya Mosiychuk, which was broadcasted by the presidential office. He is convinced that such an instrument against corrupt officials cannot operate on a permanent basis in a democratic state, but it will be very practical for the period of war (to watch the video, scroll to the end of the page).
"And this is not a firing squad, this is not Stalinism. This, if there is evidence, a person should be behind bars," the guarantor emphasized.
At the same time, Zelensky cannot say for sure whether the Verkhovna Rada will support such a project. And he will not pressure his MPs, as Ukraine is building democratic values today.
"It is very important not to twist the screws and not to look at one or another acute egregious case every time. Otherwise, we will not be in the European Union, we will not be part of the civilized world. We must introduce systemic things," the leader of the nation emphasized.
The ZN.UA website quoted its sources in the presidential office and the NABU as saying that this draft law would provide for the investigation of corruption as state treason by the Security Service of Ukraine rather than the National Anti-Corruption Bureau. Also, the article of the Criminal Code provided for harsher penalties and longer terms.
"At first the idea was as follows: to amend the legislation, according to which all corruption cases investigated in the sphere of national security and exceeding 24 million hryvnias should be investigated by the Security Service of Ukraine. NABU was proposed to leave corruption smaller than 24 million," a source in the OP told ZN.UA.
So far, according to the source, it is not about taking away from the NABU the right to conduct major anti-corruption investigations, but about giving the SBU the right to conduct them. Legislative changes have been worked out under the leadership of the OPU's specialized deputy. We are talking about initiating amendments to the Criminal Procedure Code in order to ensure that the SSU has the right to investigate cases of corruption schemes involving more than 24m hryvnyas," the source said.
"If people are tempted to equate large-scale corruption with state treason, specialists in the anti-corruption sector understand the possible real goals. An absolutely controlled SSU, rather than the NABU, which is still uncontrolled by Bankova, will gain control over the investigation into large-scale corruption in the government," one of the investigative journalists said.
And here's how a high-ranking NABU source commented on the intention:
"We have heard about such plans, but I have not seen the bill itself. I think this is a bad idea: any case can be taken away from NABU, and there will be legislative grounds for this; Ukraine will have a bunch of lost cases in the ECHR, because the non-alternative sentencing will be a violation of the convention; plus the authorities will start to spoil relations with international partners. A preventive measure is not a punishment, everyone confuses this for some reason. Plus 90% of the results in the fight against corruption are administrative measures aimed at preventing it, rather than investigating existing facts. If it is adopted, it will be a disaster," the NABU source added.
Recall, back in April, the guarantor responded to the petition of Ukrainians, who called on him to respond to corrupt officials in all branches of government. Then the appeal to the President was signed by 27,648 citizens.
As reported by OBOZREVATEL, Zelensky sharply criticized officials and civil servants who tainted themselves with participation in corruption, receiving bribes. He assured that all those who came to their positions to work for their own pockets rather than for the good of Ukraine would at least be sent to court.