Archive for November 8th, 2017


A prosecution disaster is imminent – Ukraine

November 8, 2017

About 6 weeks ago an entry appeared relating to the Department of Special Investigations within the Prosecutor General’s Office and the lack of assistance from horizontal institutions it has received in bringing cases from events surrounding 2013/2014 to court that fall outside the purview of NABU..

As the above links outlines, some of these cases relate to some people in various positions of power today – in and around the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

Aside from naming some names and highlighting the difficulties faced by the Special Investigations Department, the entry went further and stated – “If this was not enough, the Head of the Department of Special Investigations went on to infer political sabotage relating to the fact that the State Bureau of Investigation, a body created by law on 12th November 2015 and charged with investigations of senior officials and serious crimes that fall outside the remit of NABU, has still to be created.

As the events of 2013/14 clearly are serious crimes, Mr Gorbatyuk raised the possibility that no further investigation can occur when such crimes have been statutorily been given the remit of a State Bureau of Investigation that does not yet exist, despite 2 years ago a legislative framework was created for it.”

Lo it has come to pass that on 8th November, Prosecutor General Lutsenko has publicly awoken to the problem – but in a way so timed as nothing can be practically done to prevent thousands of cases going nowhere.  Even with a legislative sprint and some statutory gymnastics, it appears there is simply not the time to rectify matters.

Needless to say the Prosecutor General will blame the parliamentarians for failing to provide the legislative framework to assist the Special Investigations Department as it was required to do.  The Special Investigation Department was statutorily required to hand cases to an institution that was never set up due to the lack of legislative framework.

The parliament, being a collective body, will share collective responsibility – meaning nobody will feel responsible.

It is impossible to know whether this is a case of deliberate sabotage or simply incompetence – or both.  Perhaps the link in the opening paragraph goes some way to answering that – but it doesn’t answer it definitively.

The outcome, may or may not be, that NABU will suffer thousands of half-completed or completed investigations being dumped upon an already enormous case load – and all of those investigations will have to be subjected to a review by NABU personnel – whilst thousands of other cases will go to various other departments of the Prosecutors Office, also requiring review – if, and only if, the Verkhovna Rada amends laws to allow for such case reallocation to occur.

One way or another however, by or before 20th November, a solution has to be found for this problem within the prosecutor’s environment or cases will fold and investigations cease, for 20th November is the date at which the statutorily introduced “transition period” ends.

That the Prosecutor General only now raises the matter publicly may raises questions of his enthusiasm for the Special Investigations Department from the outset, or his incompetence.  A reader is left to decide which.

In the meantime, the fate of thousands of criminal investigations surrounding the events of 2013/2014 remains unknown.

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