President endorses hold on anti-corruption laws
President Yanukovych has signed the Law passed by the Verkhovna Rada which postpones until 1 January 2011, instead of 1 April 2010, the entry into force of anti-corruption laws. These laws: “On the fundamental principles for preventing and countering corruption”; “On liability of legal entities for committing corruption offences” and “On amendments to some legislative acts regarding liability for corruption offences” were adopted in June, but then deferred to 1 April 2010, despite protest not only from anti-corruption organizations within Ukrainian, but from the PACE Co-Rapporteur on Ukraine.
On Friday the Deputy Head of the President’s Administration Olena Lukash stated that the President would be “submitting to the Verkhovna Rada his own draft law regulating the fight against corruption and which will finally help us overcome it”.
A Presidential Decree dated 26 March affirms the makeup of a “National Anti-Corruption Committee”, headed by the President, and naming Prime Minister Azarov and a number of ministers, the Prosecutor General and others, not otherwise known for their active service in fighting corruption. The Decree states that they will be involved in making amendments to the laws that have now been postponed.
The laws which have been shelved introduce criminal, administrative, disciplinary and civil liability for corrupt activities by public officials, including the President, the Verkhovna Rada, National Deputies and many others. Companies, their heads and or founders, and others with authority within them, would also become liable for corruption.