Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has proposed introducing criminal liability in the form of jail terms from five to 10 years for illegal enrichment and for changing the procedure of confiscating illegally obtained property from officials.
Corresponding presidential bill (No.10358) on amending some legislative acts regarding the confiscation of illegal assets of persons authorized to perform the functions of the state or local self-government and punishment for acquiring such assets was submitted to parliament on Monday. The text of the document was published on the parliament’s website on Tuesday.
For an official acquiring assets worth more 12,000 non-taxable minimum incomes of citizens exceeding his income, the bill proposes punish with imprisonment from five to 10 years with the deprivation of the right to hold certain positions or engage in certain activities for up to three years.
Corresponding Article 3685 “Illegal enrichment” is proposed to be introduced into Ukraine’s Criminal Code.
The draft law proposes amendments to the procedure for filing a claim for recognition of unjustified assets and their recovery into state revenue. The corresponding lawsuit will be filed by a representative of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) in coordination with the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office (SAPO).
Current legislation provides that a lawsuit on the recognition of assets as unfounded may be brought against an official, in respect of whom a court conviction entered into legal force for committing a corruption offense or legalizing proceeds from crime. Under the current law, prosecutor takes measures to establish property to whom there is evidence that the person involved in the case received it, uses or disposes of it.
The new edition of this provision provides that a lawsuit is filed against unjustified assets received after the entry into force of the law, if it is enacted, and also within three years before the law enters into force, if the difference between the value of the assets and the official’s income exceeds 500 or more times the size of the subsistence minimum for able-bodied citizens.
Cases on the recognition of unjustified assets and their recovery in state revenue will be investigated by the Supreme Anti-Corruption Court.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has received U.S. President Donald Trump’s invitation to pay an official visit to Washington, the newspaper Dzerkalo Tyzhnia (Mirror Weekly) said on Saturday.
According to the newspaper, Zelensky received the invitation on May 31 and the visit may take place in August-September, “after a meeting between the U.S. president and the Russian one.”
Meanwhile, neither Washington, nor Kyiv have officially confirmed this information.
Findings of a public opinion poll conducted by the Oleksandr Yaremenko Ukrainian Institute for Social Research, the Social Monitoring Center, and the Institute of Economics and Forecasting of Ukraine’s National Academy of Sciences show that the majority of Ukrainians trust President Volodymyr Zelensky and the country’s armed forces.
According to the poll results, which were presented at Interfax-Ukraine’s office on Thursday, almost 58% of Ukrainians generally trust Zelensky, 35.1% are more likely to trust the president, and 23% of citizens trust him completely. Former President Petro Poroshenko had the trust of 15% of respondents (11.3% and 3.7%, respectively).
The Ukrainian Armed Forces enjoy the trust of more than 64% of respondents, the National Police 30.7%, law enforcement agencies 30.6%, the SBU Security Service of Ukraine 29.9%, the Prosecutor General’s Office 18.4%, and the National Anti-corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) 15.3%.
Some 22.9% of Ukrainians have confidence in the National Bank of Ukraine, 14.8% in the Cabinet, 13.3% in political parties, and 10.3% in the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s parliament.
The poll was conducted in 24 Ukrainian regions and the city of Kyiv on May 10-18 and involved 2,100 people. The margin of error is between 1.31% and 2.18%.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has congratulated Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on his inauguration, German Cabinet official Martina Fitz said.
“The chancellor congratulates Mr. Zelensky on his inauguration. He is taking office in accordance with a democratic mandate,” Fitz told reporters in Berlin on Monday in response to a question from Interfax.
Relations between Germany and Ukraine “remain close” and Germany will continue providing support to Ukraine in its development and reforms, she said.
Fitz was unable to name a date for the upcoming meeting between Merkel and Zelensky, however. The meeting will take place “soon,” she said. “I can’t give an exact date as of yet,” she said.
The team of President-elect of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky intends to conduct a “state audit” in the first 100 days in order to understand the state’s position, an ideologist of the Zelensky team, Ruslan Stefanchuk, notes.
“In order to perform any transformations, we need to know the human resource, financial resource and time resource. It is recorded in our program, and we will deal with it in the first 100 days: this is the announcement of the state audit. We need to understand the situation in the state today,” he said on the 112.Ukraine TV channel on Friday evening.
According to the ideologist of the team, the Ukrainian institutions, which are charged with the relevant duties, and international structures will be involved in such an audit. “It is clear that we can attract international institutions not in all areas, because it is connected with state secrets, with other things,” he said.
Stefanchuk stressed that it is important to understand the state of Ukraine’s financial obligations, the state of the infrastructure, and the state of the country’s international obligations.
“We need to know how many people there are in Ukraine today, since the number of deputies in the Verkhovna Rada depends on it. There are European norms, and they are far from being appropriate. We need to understand what social programs should be implemented. It’s not normal when today we do not know the amount of people in the country and their legal statuses,” he explained.
Volodymyr Zelensky has won the runoff presidential election in Ukraine with 73.22% of the vote and has been elected president, the Ukrainian Central Elections Commission (CEC) said in a statement on Tuesday. CEC Chairperson Tetiana Slipachuk read out the final ballot protocol at the Tuesday ceremony where the official election results were announced, an Interfax-Ukraine correspondent said in a report.
According to the CEC, the fifth Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko got 24.45% of the vote in the April 21 election.
CEC members reported the results of voting from all regions of Ukraine and foreign countries at the meeting.
According to Slipachuk, the CEC was informed by appeal courts that they had had no complaints regarding the runoff election left as of 9 a.m. on April 30.
The final protocol was approved and signed by all CEC members but Iryna Yefremova, who is absent for good reason, Slipachuk said. Following this, the protocol was signed by representatives of both presidential candidates.
The runoff presidential election in Ukraine took place on April 21. The voter turnout stood at 61.37%, including in the foreign electoral district. As many as 18,491,840 out of 29,645,358 eligible voters cast ballots.