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Tetyana Chornovol: To Fight Corruption, we Need to Start from the Head

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Kyiv, March 28, 2014 – Tetyana Chornovol, government Commissioner for anti-corruption policy, emphasised that a moratorium has been imposed on any anti-corruption operations till relevant institutional tools in the defined legal field are in place. She stressed that over the last month she was busy working out an institutional mechanism to fight the corruption: “I was appointed chairman of the Anti-Corruption Bureau which does not exist. Consequently, the first task was to create it. The key question was what to produce – a violin or a piano – that is what instrument to use, since we are not able to respond to hot issues without any authority and tools.”

Tetyana Chornovol laid out her vision of the three key functions of the future anti-corruption committee: top corruption schemes, high officials and organized corruption groups. According to Ms. Chornovol, she will demand to have the latter notion included in the Criminal Code.

Explaining the priorities of the future body, she said that, first of all, its activities should be directed not against lower-ranked executives, but against the “mafia” that ran or still runs corruption schemes. Secondly, according to Chornovol, it is critical “to get back the funds from the old mafia’s pockets”, especially from abroad. “Foreign banks are now readily arresting Yanukovych family’s money, but how to return it to Ukraine? Therefore, it is crucial for us to obtain appropriate authority abroad”. Thirdly, according to Chornovol, it is necessary to authorize the new structure with power functions – investigative and operational bodies, in particular to protect witnesses, and for other operational functions.

Tetyana Chornovol drew attention to instances of disinformation and slander against her, as well as to the facts of deliberate discredit by illegal groups that are now posing themselves as an anti-corruption committee, self-defense or the Right Sector.

When asked, Tetyana Chornovol named Yuri Ivanyushchenko and a ‘tender mafioso’ Anton Yatsenko as first subjects to be investigated by the future agency. She also confirmed the fact of her meeting with Alexander Muzychko during which she was convincing him that his activities worked in Russia’s favour.

Eventually, Ms. Chornovol said that today it is critical for all political processes to move into a legal field, as political turmoil gives room for continuous corruption. “The corrupt fish is now very well fished in the muddy water. My usefulness is now at least in that the Anti-Corruption Committee will not be used now to cover major corruption scams.” Ms. Chornovol named tender purchases, the gas sector and the agricultural sector as the most corrupt areas and she called for an immediate reform of the Health Ministry tender procedures. “It is very important for us that Ukraine be a legal and a safe state”, she summarised.

Tetyana Chornovol is a Ukrainian journalist and social activist, a correspondent of portals “Left Bank” and Ukrainska Pravda. On March 5, 2014 the Cabinet of Ministers appointed her Commissioner for anti-corruption policy.


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