On November 27, President Volodymyr Zelenskyi submitted to the Verkhovna Rada draft law No. 4434, which proposes to reinstate criminal liability for non-submission of assets declaration and the lies in the declaration by public officials. Earlier, those provisions were repealed by the scandalous decision of the Constitutional Court of October 27. Zelenskyi proposes to imprison officials who lie in declarations for more than 4 million UAH .
Instead of Article 366-1 of the Criminal Code repealed by the CCU, the president proposes two new ones in his draft law:
- intentional failure to submit a declaration (366-3);
- intentional submission of false information in the declaration (366-2).
These actions are punishable by a fine from 59,500 to 85,000 UAH or imprisonment for up to 2 years, if the difference between the values of declared assets and reliable information exceeds 4 million UAH.
With regards to declaring false information on asset values from 200,000 UAH to about 1 million UAH the administrative liability will be applied with the same sanctions as before (fine from 17,000 to 42,500 UAH).
If the difference between the declared and reliable information exceeds approximately 1 million UAH, the penalty is fine of from 42,500 to 59,500 UAH, community service from 150 to 240 hours, and deprivation of the right to hold certain positions for up to 3 years.
“It is necessary to resinstate the criminal punishment of Ukrainian officials for lying in declarations by the end of this year. After all, if this is not done by the end of the year, officials will have time to file declarations for 2020 with inaccurate information and not face criminal penalties. No high-ranking official, such as Medvedchuk or Levochkin, will complete a full declaration unless there is a prison sentence. WACS has already made a number of decisions regarding lies in the declaration, and the consideration of serious cases was stopped due to the decision of the CCU, as the defendants were afraid of the prospect of receiving a serious punishment for lying in the declaration, ” said Anton Marchuk, expert of the Anti-Corruption Action Center.
New criminal offences will be investigated by NABU and the High Anti-Corruption Court if committed by high-ranking officials.
The draft also will restore the ability of the National Agency for the Prevention of Corruption to file reports on administrative offences related to corruption of high-ranking officials.
It worth mentioning that on October 27 judges of the Constitutional court actually destroyed the electronic asset declarations as effective legal tool. In particular, the Constitutional Court closed the public register of declarations, abolished criminal liability for lying in declarations, disciplinary and administrative liability became impossible for practical application. The Constitutional Court also abolished control over declarations and conflicts of interest. See more about the decision and its consequences under the link.