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06.12.2007

Reform of the Prosecutor’s office long overdue

   

The Head of the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union Yevhen Zakharov believes that it is impossible to achieve any impact on the situation as far as observance of the law is concerned in Ukraine by simply changing the Prosecutor General, and that the entire system needs to be reformed.

“The Prosecutor General depends on the ruling coalition which appoints him or expresses no confidence, and this means that the prosecutor may initiate or terminate criminal investigations on political order.”  Yevhen Zakharov adds that people have become accustomed to assume that the prosecutor’s office can be used as a weapon to destroy or weaken political opposition.

He believes that amendments to the Constitution could help reduce this political dependence, if, for example, there were a norm that stipulated that the Prosecutor did not answer to those who elected him. He stresses that the whole system needs reforming since the functions which it fulfils are mutually contradictory since the prosecutor must not carry out a criminal investigation and present the prosecution’s case in court, while also overseeing adherence to the law.

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