power vertical

Vitaliy Yarema overhauled the administration of the Prosecutor General’s Office

Prosecutor General Vitaliy Yarema has initiated a massive purge of the administration inside the Prosecutor General’s Office. He dismissed almost all of deputies that worked under the former head of the PGO.

Betting on the experience of others

Last week Prosecutor General Vitaliy Yarema appointed five of his seven deputies. Even before firing the team of Acting Prosecutor General Oleh Makhnytskiy, he appointed Anatoliy Danylenko to the office of Deputy of Staff Affairs of the PGO. Danylenko, as well as his boss, has no experience in prosecution. His career is directly tied to Yarema as they worked together in the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the government.

After the appointment of his companion-in-arms the new Prosecutor General decided to replace the remaining deputies, leaving in office only Anatoliy Bahanets, who was Makhnytsky’s curator for the Central Investigation Department. Another comeback to the executive position was the appointment of Viktor Shokin to the office of Deputy Prosecutor General. Shokin held this position in 2002 – 2004. From now on Shokin will supervise investigation and operational activities of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Security Service and the Tax Administration. Capital’s source in the PGO said the appointments of Shokin and Bahanets have been welcomed by the heads of structural departments. “Yarema is a field investigator. Though he is not familiar with the work of a prosecutor, the appointment of Shokin and Bahanets, who are highly experienced professionals, reassured the employees. Apparently, Yarema will rely on their experience and professionalism,” said the source.

Noteworthy is that the newly appointed First Deputy Prosecutor General is former Kyiv prosecutor Mykola Herasymiuk. Another deputy office was given to Anatoliy Matios, who will be in charge of procedural guidance in investigations. In 2007, after the dismissal from the prosecution authorities, he headed the SBU in the Lviv oblast, where he was best remembered for the arrest of Judge Ihor Zvarych on accusations of bribery. Until recently he served as Deputy Chief of the Government Accountability Office in the Presidential Administration headed by Serhiy Lyovochkin. Matios’ older sister – Maria – is an MP representing the UDAR party.

“Rumor has it that Matios owes his career to Dmytro Firtash and Lyovochkin, while Bahanets and Shokin represent Poroshenko’s team,” said Capital’s source in the PGO.

Reset for reforms

MP Viktor Shvets (Batkivshchyna) confirmed the political ties of the new Deputy Prosecutor General. He said that through political negotiations the two Deputy Prosecutor General offices planned to be designated on June 27, when Shokin and Matios were appointed, still remain vacant. But Shvets assures such connections will not prevent the new leadership of the PGO from doing its job.

Staff appointments should help the “police prosecutor” reform the work of the department in accordance with the new Law On the Public Prosecutor's Office.

Noteworthy on July 3 the Verkhovna Rada plans to pass the draft Law On the Public Prosecutor's Office in the second reading, which includes a package of legislative initiatives aimed at European integration. The document proposes reducing the number of prosecutors to 5,000 from the current 18,000. The Prosecutor General will lose the right to appoint heads of regional prosecutor offices independently. Instead, a collegial body of prosecutors and members of the public will be responsible for this task. The department will be deprived of general supervision duties and it will only retain the power of supervision of the rights and freedoms of citizens.

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