The courts began to reinstate cleansed officials

The courts began to reinstate cleansed officials
The courts will help the government find the happy medium on the issue of lustration
Photo: Ukrainian Photo

Court rulings on dozens of claims against the Prosecutor General’s Office and the Cabinet of Ministers with a demand to reinstate officials who were dismissed under the law on lustration are expected soon. The first such ruling was passed by the court in Kharkiv oblast. Nonetheless, according to the information of Capital, the judges are not ready yet to pass down any rulings in favor of the claimants en masse and will protract the review of the cases until the verdict of the Constitutional Court is passed down.

Suspicion of a fix

Yesterday, the Zaporizhzhia District Administrative Court began legal proceedings on the claim submitted by Head of Corruption Risks Department of the government Andriy Zhovner against Minister of the Cabinet of Ministers Ostap Semerak. Zhovner has requested the court to deem illegal the order of Semerak on applying the norms of the law on cleansing of the power structures against the heads of structural subdivisions of the Cabinet and himself, in particular. Semerak confirmed for Capital that last week Zhovner was dismissed in compliance with the law on lustration.

Representatives of the Cabinet do not participate in the court’s hearing, but the government sent its legal evaluation in writing. «One can understand these people, particularly since it is currently quite difficult to find a job. In addition, they have the right to appeal to the court. Let’s not comment on the situation yet so it does not appear that we are putting pressure on the court,» said Semerak. Furthermore, Semerak refused to say whether Zhovner would be reinstated in office asking to wait for the official ruling of the judge.

Noteworthy, back in September former government’s envoy for the fight against corruption Tetyana Chornovol wrote in her blog that Zhovner’s appointment was not coordinated with her. In addition to that, she pointed out that the official worked as the department chief at the PGO in Viktor Pshonka’s time.
To date, there is information in the Common Register of Court Rulings about dozens of claims against the Prosecutor General’s Office, the Cabinet of Ministers, State Fiscal Service and the Ministry of Internal Affairs with a demand to reinstate the officials who were dismissed under the law on lustration.

Director of the Lustration Department at the Ministry of Justice Tetyana Kozachenko told Capital that claims with the demand of reinstatement in office were expected. She said that there have been cases when the inspecting bodies misinterpreted the norms of the law or used them to remove undesirable individuals from office. She says that many officials took up junior positions to avoid dismissal even before the law on lustration took force.

«If the law was enforced incorrectly, an official can be reinstated through a court. However, if a person was a deputy prosecutor of the oblast earlier and is now hiding in the position of the head of the HR Department, the questions are what the grounds for the reinstatement are and how the court will react to that,» she says.

A member of the public council for lustration issues at the Ministry of Justice Karl Volokh notes that the law on lustration does not contain any norms that would stipulate the possibility of being reinstated in office through a court of law. He believes that the claims point to the absence of the political will of the country’s leadership to conduct the process of lustration.
«This is corruption and lawlessness that come down from the very top. For example, the courts have never gone against the PGO in Ukraine, which means that the decision has been coordinated with the PGO leadership, at the very least,» he told Capital.

Starting point

On Monday the Kharkiv District Administrative Court created a precedent by reinstating the Chief of the HR Department of the Prosecutor’s Office of Kharkiv Oblast Volodymyr Sukhodubov. Prior to that, he served as the first deputy prosecutor of the oblast. Kozachenko believes that the decision about Sukhodubov was coordinated with the corresponding government structures. She does not rule out that the rulings similar to that of the Kharkiv court have already been passed in other regions of the country, though such information was deliberately not registered in the Common Register of Court Rulings.

One of the officials of the PGO who fell under lustration told Capital on condition of anonymity that the courts are not yet ready to reinstate the employees of the prosecutor’s office en masse. In private conversations the judges ask the claimant to submit a request on postponement of the review of the case until the official decision of the Constitutional Court on the motion of the Supreme Court is passed down.

As a reminder, on November 17 the plenum of the Supreme Court passed a decision to appeal to the Constitutional Court of Ukraine to inspect certain provisions of the Law on Cleansing of Power for compliance with the Constitution. As of Tuesday, the appeal was being processed by the CCU secretariat. Head of the CCU Press Service Hennadiy Chernenko told the publication that under the law the secretariat must make a decision within 15 days upon the receipt of the appeal. Then the materials must be reviewed by the collegium of judges without regulation of its deadline.

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anpuopumem mekcm
anpuopumem mekcm 26 November 2014, 20:54

Ворон ворону глаз не


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