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 General Prosecutor's Office is openly and aggressively undermining reform, - US Ambassador Pyatt

The General Prosecutor's Office fails to successfully fight with internal corruption, and undermines reforms by the Ukrainian authorities.

This was announced by the U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt at the Odesa Financial Forum, Censor.NET reports citing the U.S. Embassy Facebook page.

"There is one glaring problem that threatens all of the good work that regional leaders here in Odesa, in Kharkiv, in Lviv, and elsewhere are doing to improve the business climate and build a new
model of government that serves the people.

"That problem threatens everything that the Rada, the Cabinet, the National Reform Council, and others are doing to push political and economic reforms forward and make life better for Ukrainians, and it flies in the face of what the Revolution of Dignity is trying to achieve.

"That obstacle is the failure of the institution of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine to successfully fight internal corruption. Rather than supporting Ukraine's reforms and working to root out corruption, corrupt actors within the Prosecutor General's office are making things worse by openly and aggressively undermining reform," Pyatt said.

"In defiance of Ukraine's leaders, these bad actors regularly hinder efforts to investigate and prosecute corrupt officials within the prosecutor general's office. They intimidate and obstruct the efforts of those working honestly on reform initiatives within that same office," the Ambassador added.

Read more: Odesa can be a model of transparent, accountable government and business, - US Ambassador to Ukraine Pyatt

According to him, the United States "applaud the work" of the newly-established Inspector General's office in the PGO led by David Sakvarelidze and Vitaliy Kasko.

"Their investigations into corruption within the PGO, have delivered important arrests and have sent the signal that those who abuse their official positions as prosecutors will be investigated and prosecuted. I encourage all of you to speak up in support of these brave investigators and prosecutors. Give them the resources and support to successfully prosecute these and future cases," the U.S. Ambassador said.

He noted that he had learned that there had been times that the PGO not only did not support investigations into corruption, but rather undermined prosecutors working on legitimate corruption cases.

"For example, in the case of former Ecology Minister Mykola Zlochevsky, the U.K. authorities had seized 23 million dollars in illicit assets that belonged to the Ukrainian people. Officials at the PGO's office were asked by the U.K to send documents supporting the seizure. Instead they sent letters to Zlochevsky's attorneys attesting that there was no case against him. As a result the money was freed by the U.K. court and shortly thereafter the money was moved to Cyprus.

"The misconduct by the PGO officials who wrote those letters should be investigated, and those responsible for subverting the case by authorizing those letters should - at a minimum - be summarily terminated.

"Even as we support the work of the new Anti-Corruption Commission, and the recruitment of new prosecutors, we have urged Prosecutor General Shokin to empower Deputy Prosecutors Sakvarelidze and Kasko to implement reforms and bring to justice those who have violated the law, regardless of rank or status. We are prepared to partner with reformers within the PGO in the fight for anticorruption," Pyatt said.

 
 
 
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