The main news in Ukraine on Friday, 28 August was the decision of the Constitutional Court, which declared unconstitutional the Presidential Decree appointing Artem Sytnyk director of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine.
According to the press service of the Court, the relevant decision was made by the Grand Chamber of the Constitutional Court.
This decision states that the Basic Law of Ukraine contains an exhaustive list of positions to which the Head of state appoints. In particular, it is a question of the statement of heads of diplomatic missions of Ukraine in other states and at the international organisations; the Attorney General; half of the members of the Council of the National Bank of Ukraine, half of the members of the National Council on Television and Radio Broadcasting; senior command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and other military formations; thirds of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine; personnel of the National Security and Defence Council; heads of local state administrations; judges; and two members of the High Council of Justice.
Based on this, the Constitutional Court ruled that in 2015, by signing a decree appointing Artem Sytnyk to the position of NABU Chairman, President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko exceeded his powers.
In addition, the CCU believes that “the appointment by the President of Ukraine of the Head of a body that functionally belongs to the executive branch will unbalance the system of checks and balances, disrupt the functional separation of powers and actually change the form of government.”
According to the decision of the Constitutional Court, the NABU Director must be appointed and dismissed by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine. The decision is binding, final, and cannot be appealed.
Meanwhile, the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine called the ruling of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine politically motivated.
“Despite the CCU’s recognition of the presidential decree appointing Artem Sytnyk director of NABU unconstitutional, it does not provide for his automatic dismissal. The Law of Ukraine “On NABU” contains an exhaustive list of grounds for dismissal of the director of the National Bureau. There is no decision of the Constitutional Court among them,” it is said in the statement.
The decisions of the CCU in NABU were connected with the investigation of the case of judges of the District Administrative Court of Kyiv. Earlier, anti-corruption activists published part of the recordings, which documented conversations about “administered justice in Ukraine,” including the adoption of decisions by the Constitutional Court of Ukraine.”
Ukrainian Telegram Channels, citing insider information from the Office of the President, report that Western ambassadors are already literally cutting off the phone of the Head of the state due to the decision of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine on the Head of NABU. Diplomats seem to warn that if the Ukrainian authorities do not stop putting pressure on anti-corruption bodies and stop interfering in their work, it could lead to the suspension of cooperation with the EU and the United States.
According to informed sources, the new political season in Ukraine will be marked by serious personnel rotations, in particular in the Security Service of Ukraine, the Office of the Prosecutor General, and anti-corruption bodies. Confirmation of these rumours is the recent dismissal of Vasyl Burba from the post of Chief of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine, although this personnel decision went almost unnoticed. At the same time, the dismissal of the Head of the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office, Nazar Kholodnytsky, really caused a stir and made many politicians and experts think. The Head of the Specialized Anti-corruption Prosecution resigned of his own volition and was generally fired from the prosecutor’s office.