The International Monetary Fund called on Ukraine’s parliament to “quickly approve” a supplementary law submitted by President Petro Poroshenko to establish a High Anti-Corruption Court that will “adjudicate all cases under its jurisdiction, including all appeals of relevant first instance court decisions.”

The requirement that the High Anti-Corruption Court hears appeals of lower court decisions would replace a law passed earlier this month by parliament under which the regular, discredited courts would hear appeals of current cases. The shortcoming has been been condemned as granting effective amnesty to suspects currently facing corruption charges.

The IMF also called on Ukraine to raise household gas prices to market levels and reduce its state budget deficit to 2.5 percent of gross domestic product.

Parliament may vote on the changes on June 21.

A $17.5 billion lending program has been frozen for more than a year, after disbursements of $8.4 billion, because of Ukraine’s unwillingness to meet the lender’s conditions. The “realization (is) dawning” that the IMF requires more changes to unfreeze the program, London-based analyst Timothy Ash said.

The following June 19 statement was issued by Christine Lagarde, managing director of the IMF following a June 18 phone call with President Petro Poroshenko:

“I am very encouraged by the adoption of the law on the High Anti-Corruption Court by the Ukrainian parliament, which is an important step forward in the authorities’ fight against corruption. The new law paves the way for setting up an independent and strong anti-corruption court that together with existing institutions (National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine and the Special Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office) will contribute to delivering the accountability and justice that the people of Ukraine demand of their public officials.

“In this regard, I commended the president for his leadership that enabled the approval of the law, and welcomed his intention to make the court operational by the end of this year. We agreed that it is now important for parliament to quickly approve the supplementary law submitted by the president to formally establish the court, as well as the necessary amendments to restore the requirement that the HACC will adjudicate all cases under its jurisdiction, including all appeals of relevant first instance court decisions, as it was in the draft law approved in the first reading.

“We also agreed to work closely together, including with the government, toward the timely implementation of this and other actions, notably related to gas prices and the budget, that are critical to allow the completion of the pending review under Ukraine’s IMF-supported program.”


Source: Kyiv Post

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