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Shokin appoints Nazar Holodnitskogo as Anti-Corruption Prosecutor

November 30, 2015

On 30th November, the untrusted (unless you are President Poroshenko), Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin finally appointed the long awaited Anti-Corruption Prosecutor, the appointment coming the day before President Poroshenko stated the office must finally begin work.  (Thus Mr Shokin could delay matters no longer.

The successful applicant, following a long, public and reasonably transparent process is Nazar Holodnitskogo.

shokinMr Holodonitskogo has a lot to do – but then he has a lot to go at.  He and his team are certainly not lacking work.

This appointment will naturally get all the headlines – and perhaps rightly so.  It will certainly bring about headlines in the weeks and months ahead.

However, perhaps just as importantly, Mr Shokin also gave approval to some much needed structural changes within the PGO too.

The General Inspectorate of Internal Investigations (the office now responsible for prosecuting prosecutors and investigators) has been born, with an action plan, and the appointment of  Maxim Melnichenko was also made.  Mr Melnichenko will report to the very good Deputy Prosecutor General David Sakvarelidze (which he actually does already in a different role).

All in all, two very promising occurrences within an otherwise discouraging Prosecutor General’s Office.

Yet one question remains regarding these events.  Mr Shokin’s appointment of Mr Holodonitskogo was from a choice of the two final candidates from a lengthy process to insure individual moral courage and fortitude both past and present.  The other finalist was Maxim Grischuk (who would have been your author’s choice).

It simply cannot be that Mr Grischuk does not take a senior position within the PGO having passed the public “corruption smell test” with flying colours, and the professional qualifications/ability test of a large panel of experts.  An honest prosecutor simply cannot be wasted.

What now for a good man called Maxim Grischuk?

It is perhaps only right to acknowledge the tremendous external (international) political and diplomatic energy expended that has forced these changes upon President Poroshenko, and thus within the Prosecutor General’s Office.  That energy will need to be maintained of course – not only in insuring these new appointments and their departments can work freely of political (and Mr Shokin’s nefarious) interference, but also in seeing through the complete reconstruction of the institution and the changing of the guard within.

Nevertheless, rapid sweeping reforms and some headlining prosecutions in 2016 are required – and perhaps they will come too!

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