On October 29, the first hearing regarding Mykola Martynenko’s appeal against the Anti-Corruption Action Center took place. Attorneys of former MP (Narodnyi Front), who is accused by NABU in several corruption crimes at once, demand to delete all information about their client from the website of AntAC’s project pep.org.ua – the Register of domestic politically exposed persons.
During one hearing, judge V.V. Bortnytska managed to hear legal demands of attorneys, AntAC’s objections and evidence of both parties and announced the break. The next hearing is scheduled for 16.30 on December 10. It will begin with parties’ debates.
“Such speed of consideration of the case in overburdened Pechersk Court only testifies about the fact that someone is interested in a very quick decision regarding this case. This is a lightning speed. And it suggests unpleasant guesses about who will help resolve the dispute “, – Oleksandr Lytvyn, AntAC’s lawyer, can not hide his surprise. “We asked to stop the trial until completely similar Mykola Martynenko’s appeal against NABU will be considered. After all, most of information that became known about participation of former MP in corruption schemes, we learned from results of investigation of NABU detectives. And we used information published by them”, – adds the lawyer.
We should remind that according to the appeal, Martynenko accuses AntAC of supposedly illegal use of his name in description of criminal offenses and corruption cases, investigated by NABU, where his guilt or participation is still not confirmed by the court.
However, the judge decided to continue examining the appeal of former MP and even managed to hear evidence. At the same time, part of written evidence, namely links to court decisions and publications on NABU’s website, were “considered” by judge Bortnytska absolutely formally. She only looked through the page and did not follow any links.
Watch full record of the trial by the link: https://bit.ly/2Jr5bFK
We should remind that the issue concerns information regarding reputation and business connections, the so-called Martynenko’s dossier, published in Public Register of Domestic Politically Exposed Persons. This is a database developed by the NGO. It helps banks to identify politically exposed persons among their clients and has over 30,000 documented records of Ukrainian politicians, prosecutors, judges, law enforcement officials and their relatives.
The politician demands to remove information derived from court decisions about his connections with offshore companies, through which, as established by NABU detectives, financial transactions were conducted. In the opinion of former MP, this ruins his business reputation. Therefore, he demands in his appeal to remove his dossier from the Public Register of Domestic Politically Exposed Persons and to prohibit AntAC to publish information on criminal proceedings or information about corporate rights with a mention of his name.
“It is obvious that presence of Martynenko’s profile in the Public Register of PEPs, which is used by foreign banks and intelligence, complicates, or even blocks financial transactions for him. Thus, he accelerates the trial. Politician’s appeal confirms one more time that mention in the Register of Politically Exposed Persons complicates money laundering”, – AntAC executive director Daria Kaleniuk explains the essence of work of the anticorruption instrument.
AntAC’s lawyers believe that Martynenko does not have any reason to be offended to his own dossier, published in the Register of Politically Exposed Persons. Information collected there is either confirmed by documents, namely court decisions or excerpts from the state registers, or is already publicly known from numerous journalists’ investigations and his own comments. Moreover, his case is already being heard in court.
“If the court satisfies such appeal, then it would mean that, for example, journalists who cover particular criminal trial regarding Mr. Martynenko (or any other), will also become potential “targets” for such Politically Exposed Persons. They could also be required to remove the name of such a person from publications”, – AntAC’s lawyer Oleksiy Boyko explains danger of the process.