Three months on an answer of sorts about Khoroshkovsky’s appointment to High Council of Justice
The President’s Administration took over three months to respond to Telekritika’s letter, sent on 11 June, asking about the legal grounds for appointing Valery Khoroshkovsky, Head of the Security Service [SBU] and media magnate member of the High Council of Justice.
Telekritika notes that the Deputy Head of the President’s Administration, Hanna Herman answered the letter after the court issued its ruling over the law suit brought by TVi whereas the letter was sent before this.
Herman considers unfounded TVi’s assertion that Khoroshkovsky deceived the President’s Administration by not providing information about himself which do not give him the right to be a member of the High Council of Justice.
Herman asserts that “In accordance with this information, at the time that the President issued the above-mentioned Decree, the overall work record of Valery Khoroshkovsky in positions which envisage his direct functional activities in the area of law, came to 12 years and 10 months which is fully in keeping with the requirements of Article 6 of the Law on the High Council of Justice.”
The Law on the High Council of Justice demands, among other things, that members have: “a higher legal education and experience of work in the field of law of no less than ten years”.
The President’s Administration lawyers consider that any managerial posts which Khoroshkovsky held can be equated to “experience of work in the field of law”. This was stated in the court.
Telekritika asked Ms Herman to clarify which particular posts in the field of law over 12 years and 10 months the Deputy Head of the Administration had in mind. One of her assistants provided a response which first criticized the fact that such a letter had been directed to Ms Herman, since “staffing issues” are not within her jurisdiction. The assistant advised Telekritika to write another information request.
To our question, why our information request, addressed to the President’s Administration over 3 months ago had been sent specifically to Ms Herman if this was not within her jurisdiction, the assistant answered that perhaps Ms Herman had simply put her signature on it quickly “without looking”.
On 12 August the High Administrative Court rejected the law suit brought by TVi asking the court to find the President’s decree of 31 May 2010 appointing Khoroshkovsky to the High Council of Justice unlawful. TVi had specifically cited Article 6 of the Law on the High Council of Justice.
TVi’s representative, Yury Krainyak, from the law firm Jurimex, analysed Valery Khoroshkovsky’s biography placed on the Verkhovna Rada website. “In it there is only one position which at least by definition could have some relation to work experience in the field of law: Professor of the Faculty of Financial Law of the Tax Academy. This position was held by the third party for one year”. The lawyer considers that all other positions were administrative and not requiring any law education.
He was also of the opinion that work experience in the field of law can only be gained having a law education and working according to ones profession. Other members of the High Council of Justice were previously judges, prosecutors, bar lawyers and lecturers. Only the Minister of Justice does not have such experience, but is a member of the Council by virtue of his ministerial post.
The representative of the Security Service [SBU] asserted the opposite. He pointed out that Khoroshkovsky’s work had been directly linked with the field of law in his positions as Assistant to the Prime Minister (1997-1998); National Deputy (1998-2002); Deputy Head of the President’s Administration (for the second half of 2002); the Minister on the Economic on Issues of European Integration (2002-2004); First Deputy Secretary of the National Security and Defence Council (2006-2007); Head of the State Customs and Excise Service (2007-2009); the First Deputy Head of the SBU (from January 2009 to March 2010) and Head of the SBU from March this year.
Mr Krainyak said that no evidence of direct work in the field of law had been provided.
After the debate, a court ruling was issued rejecting the law suit. The Presiding Judge Svitlana Holovchuk said that the text with the full resolution would appear in 5 days.
The English of another letter asking the same question, as well as a number of others, can be found at http://www.telekritika.ua/pereklad_cenzura/2010-09-15/55851 and here. There has been no publication of the grounds for the court’s ruling which remains incomprehensible to very many people.
New information from Telekritika at: http://www.telekritika.ua/news/2010-09-20/55974