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WorldAsiaThe West can help Ukraine fight corruption

The West can help Ukraine fight corruption

On Wednesday, the head of Ukraine’s specialized anti-corruption prosecutor’s office (SAP), Oleksandr Klymenko, said Western allies could help Kiev in the fight against corruption if they start handing over to Ukraine people under investigation who fled him abroad.According to the prosecutor, most of the countries to which Kiev has requested the extradition of suspects in corruption cases have refused to do so.”In 90% of our cases, we have one, two, three or more subjects who are abroad, and the procedure for transferring these people to Ukraine is complicated,” Klymenko said in an interview with Reuters. Among the countries where the corrupt are hiding from the Ukrainian authorities, Klymenko cited Austria, Spain and Great Britain.The prosecutor believes that facilitating extradition processes would be extremely important to Ukraine’s efforts to root out corruption. According to him, “the investigation of a criminal case is totally ineffective when we cannot return these people to Ukraine from different jurisdictions for proper justice”.Western countries that refuse to extradite usually cite security concerns due to the Russian invasion and the conditions of detention in Ukraine. Klymenko believes in this, but Kiev has always guaranteed the safe detention of suspects under investigation.He also said his department’s priority was to eradicate complex criminal schemes, through which corruption in Ukraine has become systemic.
The fight against corruption is a priority for the Ukrainian authorities, as it is one of the important conditions for EU membership.Last week, SAPO prosecutors charged the former head of Ukraine’s State Property Fund, Dmitry Sennichenko, with embezzlement of $13 million. And on March 15, SAPO was charged for the first time in a criminal scheme that caused Ukrainian consumers to overpay for electricity by more than $1 billion between 2016 and 2019.Klymenko said these sophisticated corruption schemes will continue until their high-ranking organizers are targeted by investigating authorities.Oleksandr Klymenko, 36, was appointed Deputy Prosecutor General of Ukraine and Head of SAPO in July 2022. Prior to that, he worked as an investigator at the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU). After Klymenko’s appointment, the Ukrainian authorities have intensified the anti-corruption campaign.According to the anti-corruption reform plan in Ukraine in 2015, SAP is a structural subdivision of the General Prosecutor’s Office, but independent of it. It accompanies the main anti-corruption processes in the country and the cases investigated by NABU.In the latest Global Corruption Index for 2022, published by Transparency International, Ukraine ranked 116th out of 180, Russia – 137th.

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