UARU
Shokin's Last Revenge
4 April, 2016
961

What You Need To Know

✅ Shokin's last revenge as General Prosecutor was to fire Davit Sakvarelidze, a young prosecutor in charge of the Odesa Region, and an investigator in the ‘Diamond Prosecutors’ case;

✅ According to Vitaly Kasko, former Deputy Prosecutor General, the major problem in the office remains the lack of political will to enforce reforms;

✅ “What we have at the moment is a Soviet-type hierarchical structure of the prosecution service, this lack of independence of the prosecutor general from external influences and lack of independence of lower prosecutors from higher prosecutors;”

✅ The future of the Prosecutor General’s Office: “They need to have political will in the office to change the situation and they need to have checks and balances within the office to make the prosecutors independent enough to do their job honestly and effectively.”

On March 29th, 2016, after months of pressure from the West and civil society, Ukraine’s parliament fired the controversial Prosecutor General Victor Shokin. Accused of not investigating corruption cases, Shokin's last revenge as General Prosecutor was to fire Davit Sakvarelidze, a young prosecutor in charge of the Odesa Region, and an investigator in the ‘Diamond Prosecutors’ case –an inquiry dealing with bribery investigations among high-ranking prosecutors in Ukraine, many of them close to Shokin.

According to Vitaly Kasko, the former Deputy Prosecutor General who resigned in February after accusing Shokin of continual politicization of the prosecution service, the major problem in the office remains the lack of political will to enforce reforms: “Without this political will it’s even hard even to imagine how to reform it in accordance with the European standards.” Kasko describes the current prosecution service as Soviet, with problems of high-level corruption and low qualification of prosecutors.

“What we have at the moment is a Soviet-type hierarchical structure of the prosecution service, this lack of independence of the prosecutor general from external influences and lack of independence of lower prosecutors from higher prosecutors,” he adds.

Kasko, who’s asset declarations were double-checked by Shokin after his involvement in the ‘Diamond Prosecutors’ case, hopes that the new Prosecutor General will be one who resists external influences wants to change the system: “They need to have political will in the office to change the situation and they need to have checks and balances within the office to make the prosecutors independent enough to do their job honestly and effectively.”

Hromadske’s Nataliya Gumenyuk spoke with Vitaly Kasko, former Deputy Prosecutor General of Ukraine in April, 2016 in Kyiv.