Thursday, January 22, 2009

President slams Interdepartmental anti-corruption working group for ineffectiveness

President Victor Yushchenko met today co-Chairmen of the Interdepartmental anti-corruption working group - Security Service acting Head Valentyn Nalyvaichenko and Prosecutor General Oleksandr Medvedko, to discuss implementation of the group's working plan in 2008.

Speaking at the meeting President Yushchenko stressed that he had examined reports about the group's activity in 2008 and "cannot give it a positive mark".

According to Victor Yushchenko law enforcement bodies worked ineffectively, there was lack of coordination between Prosecutor's Office, Security Service, State Customs Service and other bodies, and there were no concrete results of the group's work.

Reminding of the working plan adopted at the meeting of the group back in 2008, President said that "it included around six main directions, we were to make a strike at, to show effectiveness, that the Prosecutor General cannot be threatened by any person in this country regardless of this person's position; that he is able to institute proceedings against any criminal, particularly against a state servant regardless of this servant's status". Instead, he said, out of 41 projects foreseen by the plan the group managed to implement only nine.

As an example, President said that only 16 cases against servants in legal system were brought to court. "I can draw only one conclusion out of this: futile work of the group is most likely explained by only one thing - by corruption in the institutions responsible for law enforcement, themselves. You have parties' umbrellas above your heads and think that you have an alibi", - he said. At the same time he emphasized that it does not matter how many criminal proceedings are instituted because they are not carried to conclusion.

In addition President Yushchenko said that it is a pity that the group did not have any meetings in the regions, which are mentioned in statistics and surveys as having high corruption cases spread in them.

Summarizing his address to those present, Victor Yushchenko suggested holding an all-national consultative meeting to hear report of the group about the results of its work.