Ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, gives a speech to the Ukraine Crisis Media Center (UCMC) on March 5, 2019, calling for their anti-corruption prosecutor to be fired:
(…) “As observers of Ukraine during this election year, we’ve noticed that since the Ukrainian people want change in their lives and in their government, everyone styles themselves as a reformer. So what are some of the things that are being discussed in Ukraine today, initiatives that could move and help institutionalize the transformation that Ukrainians seek.
I think one thing, coming after last week’s decision, would be passing – actually passing, not just proposing – a new and better amendment to the criminal code that not only restores illicit enrichment as an anti-corruption tool but reinstates the dozens of cases that were undermined by the court decision.
Instead of annulling anti-corruption laws, there are some that believe that the Constitutional Court could focus its attention on revoking the law that requires civil society to file electronic asset declarations, which was clearly intended to undermine the effectiveness of those – like media representatives – who expose corruption and hold elected representatives accountable.
To ensure the integrity of anticorruption institutions, the Special Anticorruption Prosecutor must be replaced. Nobody who has been recorded coaching suspects on how to avoid corruption charges can be trusted to prosecute those very same cases.
Those responsible for corruption should be investigated, prosecuted, and if guilty, go to jail. And in order for that to happen, all of the elements of the anti-corruption architecture must be in place and must be working effectively.