The end of SBI or SBI without Truba: what the Parliament will decide

The Verkhovna Rada started the consideration of the draft law of the President Volodymyr Zelenskyi, which should have fixed the State Bureau of Investigation (SBI). And this is not a surprise, because this body should investigate criminal offenses committed by Members of Parliament themselves. 

If corrupt offenses of Members of Parliament are in the jurisdiction of the NABU, then all the rest are in the jurisdiction of the SBI.

The SBI should investigate all offenses except corruption regarding police, military, NABU employees and top officials in addition to Members of Parliament.

The project shows that “the repair” of the SBI should actually enhance the role and influence of the director. This is about possibility to dismiss deputies and appoint them without competition, create new units, transfer employees without competition, and remove restrictions regarding the number of the staff.

On the one hand, enhancing the director’s role should have prevented many conflicts which the SBI has gathered since its creation. This is not a secret that Roman Truba has permanent conflict with his deputies. Initially, the Competition Commission and its elected leadership were split between the PPB and Narodnyi Front.

But on the other hand, is it necessary to enhance current director of the SBI?

The presidential draft law does not foresee dismissal of the SBI leadership. That means that current head of the body Roman Truba, who managed to become the subject of more than one scandal and numerous conflicts with his own team, will continue to operate the body. The latest scandal is about schedule of congratulations regarding birthdays of the staff made by the director of the SBI.

There are some examples below how Roman Truba discredited the newly created body and himself.

Opening of proceedings against activists during Maydan times

Yes, Truba did not always head the SBI. During the Revolution of Dignity, he worked as the prosecutor in Pustomyty district of Lviv region. At that period local councils of Lviv region regularly made political decisions regarding support of the Euromaydan. Truba appealed against them in the court, for instance, demanding the cancellation of the decision “On the inadmissibility of refusing European integration”.

In general, journalists found about a dozen decisions of Lviv District Court regarding similar appeals of Truba in the Register of Court Decisions.

It is interesting that immediately after the victory of the Revolution of Dignity the current director of the SBI withdrew his appeals, which were still ongoing in the court. It seems that Truba was able to adapt to different political situation 5 years ago.

By the way, journalists also analyzed what cases were brought to the sentence by the head of the SBI Truba when he worked in the Prosecutor’s Office. The loudest case investigated by Truba is the bribe in amount of 1,000 USD taken by the head of the village council for allocation of 12 acres of land. The rest are road crashes, domestic disputes with injuries, cannabis and poppy cultivation, and robbery.

Proceedings against Suprun’s team

Former head of the Ministry of Health Ulana Suprun stated that the SBI had fabricated the criminal proceeding against the Ministry of Health due to the epopee with the rector of Bogomolets Medical University.

The case was opened because of the failure to comply with the court’s decision on (another) reinstatement in office of the scandalous Amosova as the rector.

The latter tried so hard to keep her position that she even tried to storm into the university building with her “supporters”. Those who did not support Amosova were illegally dismissed. Students and staff of the Medical University suffered the most from such attempts to return their feudal possessions.

Cooperation with Kivalov

In June 2019 (yes, just before parliamentary elections), Truba signed the agreement on cooperation with Odessa Law Academy, headed by Sergiy Kivalov.

At the same time, Kivalov is member of the Opposition Bloc and former member of the Party of Regions run to the Verkhovna Rada. That means that the SBI, which should be out of politics and its subordinates, signed the agreement on cooperation with the university, headed by the potential “subject”. Is it conflict of interest? No, we have not heard about it.

We should recall that Kivalov went into the election with promises to adopt the new draft law “On the Russian language and languages of national minorities” and the abolition of “cannibalistic health care reform”. He also headed the Central Election Commission of Ukraine in 2004, when massive fraud during the presidential election turned into the Orange Revolution.

The story regarding leaks to the odious member of the Party of Regions Portnov

The fifth President Petro Poroshenko stated that Truba could be involved in leaks of information to Andriy Portnov, former deputy head of the Presidential Administration of Yanukovych.

According to him, the SBI did not send him any summons regarding questioning, and the only person who disseminated information about date and time of questioning was Portnov.

Indeed, Portnov is the first who disseminates information on Poroshenko’s cases. The SBI is investigating 13 criminal cases where the subject is former President. Most of them are filed by Portnov.

Of course, Truba denies any connections and leaks.

The dismissal of the head of the press service for publishing news regarding investigation against Poroshenko

In May 2019, Truba dismissed Andriy Malchyk, the acting head of the press service of the department, when the latter had released news regarding opening of the case against Poroshenko according to Portnov’s statement. The employee of the SBI Iryna Vynokurova wrote about it.

According to her, the announcement was prepared and confirmed with the investigation with observance of all legal nuances.

There will be the end of even the restarted SBI with such head as Truba. It is impossible to clean the body partially. For instance, we will leave obedient employees and hire some new. 

Scenario of cleaning the SBI is on the surface. They should add the amendment to the draft law of the President on dismissal of the director (Truba) and his deputies

New members should be hired with the help of the fair competition with the participation of international experts with the decisive vote, as it was during the competition to the High Anti-Corruption Court, and now during the competition regarding the new head of the NACP (National Agency on Corruption Prevention).

Vitaliy Shabunin, especially for UP

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