It’s been a surprisingly big week for corruption accusations in Ukraine — which is saying a lot, given Ukraine’s reputation for graft. A few days after a whistleblower alleged that Ukraine’s National Agency for Preventing Corruption was under the control of the presidential administration, corruption cases have been launched against two more officials.
On November 17, Ukraine’s State Prosecutor’s Office opened a criminal case against Artem Sytnyk, the director of the country’s National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU). Sytnyk stands accused to disclosing confidential investigative data from a case against Kostyantyn Kulyk, the former prosecutor of Ukraine’s Anti-Terrorist Operation (the official name for the country’s campaign against Russia-backed separatists in the east).
The Prosecutor’s Office opened the case after a recording of a man who sounds like Sytnyk appeared online. The audio suggests that Sytnyk is passing secret information from the Kulyk case (and possibly other cases) to the chief editors of several news publications.
Shortly thereafter, NABU opened a criminal case against Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yury Lutsenko, accusing him of “illegal enrichment.” Details about the case are scarce so far. However, Lutsenko has suggested it concerns two parking spaces owned by his 28-year-old son — assets that the Prosecutor General did not include in his e-declaration.
Lutsenko claims that he was not required to disclose the parking spaces and says he feels “calm” about the accusation.
The case was opened based upon a complaint by Renat Kuzmin, the former deputy Prosecutor General of Ukraine. Kuzmin said that this is already the fifth case opened against Lutsenko at his appeal.
/By Matthew Kupfer