Activists Demand To Eliminate The Department of “Kononenko-Granovsky” And To Protect NABU From Illegal Interferences

On August 17, ant-corruption activists and human rights advocates addressed their public demand to the Prosecutor General of Ukraine Yuriy Lutsenko and the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko to immediately remove from office all law-enforcement officials that were involved in attacks on NABU. 

On August 12, 2016 officials of the Department of investigation of especially important economical crimes of the Prosecutor’s General Office, also known as “the department of Kononenko-Granovskiy”, under leadership of the department’s deputy head Dmytro Sus illegally detained and tortured two employees of National Anticorruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU).

Head of NABU Artem Sytnyk reported, that his employees were detained while implementing properly sanctioned covert investigative activities within criminal proceeding on illegal activities of officials from the department of Kononenko-Granovskiy. The proceeding was opened by NABU several months ago. PGO officials had neither court warrant nor any other possible legal background for interference in NABU activities.

However, employees of PGO coordinated by Dmytro Sus forced two staff members of NABU into the premise of PGO and did not release them for more than 11 hours. Captured staff members of NABU testified that they were demanded to disclose what kind of investigation NABU was performing against PGO employees and what information NABU possessed.

Moreover, officials of PGO beaten and tortured NABU employees aiming to force them to disclose information.  To prove this, NABU published videos from interrogation of its employees who became victims of PGO illegal activities (interrogations were made by NABU detectives).

During interrogations victims told that they were beaten by PGO officials and police officers from the National Police. The victims also reported to be threatened with cold weapons (knifes), with being thrown to ATO zone and with being accused of opening a fire against prosecutors. The victims bore evidences of physical offences against them, namely had injuries on their hands. They reported that Dmytro Sus directly participated in physical harassment. These conducts of Sus and his colleagues are of criminal origin and according to Ukrainian legislation may be followed by a criminal sentence.  

Artem Sytnyk reported that he informed the Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko about the situation as soon as captives were taken. However, the victims were not released following the demand from the Prosecutor General. Hours passed before the victims were brought to NABU by Dmitry Sus on his car.

Since that time the Prosecutor General of Ukraine did not give any public statement regarding illegal actions of his subordinates, who in fact kept NABU employees as hostages and tortured them in order to acquire information on criminal investigation against prosecutors.

Silence of the Prosecutor General arises doubts on whether his subordinates acted without sanction of Y. Lutsenko.

As of now, Lutsenko does not show ability to clear PGO of prosecutors-renegades and to finally implement effective reform of prosecution. On the contrary, Lutsenko seems to be using PGO for violence against NABU.

PGO, whose political dependence is almost beyond doubts, starts to attack NABU as soon as it proves its political independence. While doing this, PGO disregards the fact that NABU was established under the public demand and pressure from international partners of Ukraine. Moreover, PGO, instead of investigating and filing to court the cases of Yanukovych and his cronies, prefers to attack NABU – the agency, which already shows promising results in investigating corruption among people from inner circle of the ruling elite.

Scandalous PGO Department of Kononenko-Granovsky must be eliminated, since its officials have crossed the red line. In times of ex-Prosecutor General  V. Shokin this department persecuted its colleagues from PGO, who attempted to fight corrupt prosecutors from within.  In times of Y. Lutsenko this department forged criminal cases to persecute anticorruption activists. Now the department of Sus started demonstrative terror against all anticorruptioners – within PGO, in NGO sector and media as well as in special anticorruption bodies.  

Silent position of the Prosecutor General Y. Lutsenko and heads of other law-enforcement bodies, officials of which participated in detention and tortures of NABU employees cannot be tolerated in a country that claims to reform criminal justice.

By doing this, post-Maidan political leadership of Ukraine tolerates obvious crimes against which the people of Ukraine were protesting two years ago. Is current political leadership of Ukraine capable of investigating crimes at least of former corrupt political elite: murders on Maidan, kidnaping and torturing  of activists, war crimes, terror from judicial and prosecutorial mafia? These questions are still left without answers.

As long as violations of the law take place in PGO and are tolerated by the head of law-enforcement body that is supposed to protect citizens of Ukraine, Ukraine will remain a kleptocratic country with no respect to  human rights..

We demand the Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko and the President Petro Poroshenko to react immediately on the outrageous conducts of PGO officials:

  • Immediately remove from office all law-enforcement officials that were involved in attacks on NABU, first and foremost – Dmytro Sus;
  • Immediately bring the above mentioned people to justice;
  • Eliminate the department of “Kononenko-Granovsky”, that persecuted reformers from PGO and anticorruption activists and how turn its attention to NABU;
  • Ensure other law enforcement agencies do not interfere illegally into NABU investigations
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