It has been estimated that 140 billion UAH were illegally removed through the national budget in 2014. The total value of confiscated assets in 2014 amounted to only 10.2 million UAH that is less than 1% of this sum. In 2015, 1.5 billion UAH are planned to be received in the form of returned revenues. However, it is impossible to resolve the discrepancy between expectations and recovered proceeds of corruption without a comprehensive legal model of asset recovery in Ukraine.
Today the EU-funded Project “Support to Justice Sector Reform in Ukraine”, in cooperation with the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine, held a Round Table “Regulatory and Institutional Aspects of Recovery and Management of Proceeds of Crime”. The event paid attention to the need of improving domestic and international cooperation between various institutions working in the area of confiscation and management of proceeds of crime.
“It is extremely important to shift the current criminal justice focus form the one providing personal retribution against a perpetrator towards the one dealing with the results of a crime”, noted Jan Tombinski, the EU Ambassador to Ukraine.
Changes in statutory regulation and institutional capacities are necessary to make Ukrainian law and practice more efficient in depriving perpe trators of organised and corruption offences from the ultimate financial benefit of crime, while providing adequate safeguards for human rights and fundamental freedoms, including a fair trial and the protection of stability of property relationships. Additionally, these changes are crucial in bringing Ukrainian law and practice in compliance with European standards and comparative practices.
Senior representatives from the Ukrainian legislative, executive and judicial branches of power participated at the event alongside international experts. During the Round Table, the participants discussed relevance of practice of confiscation and asset recovery to political dialogue between Ukraine and EU. European experts presented the cases related to Practical and Effective Operation of Asset Recovery and Management Offices in the EU Member-States.
“For the last 20 years Ukraine has lacked functional mechanism to prevent illegal proceeds. Only during the Yanukovich regime illegal proceeds amounted to approximately 100 billion USD. This is why Ukraine should have tough anticorruption legislation. Аnticorruption legislation should be implemented in a transparent way to avoid manipulation with this issue”, underlined Pavlo Petrenko, the Minister of Justice of Ukraine.
According to Virgilijus Valancius, Team Leader of the EU Project “Support to Justice Sector Reforms in Ukraine”: “The project team is glad to be able to join the process of developing the mechanisms for recovery and management of proceeds of crime. The Judicial Reform Council under the President of Ukraine has already developed the Ukraine Justice Sector Reform Strategy 2015-2020, as well as the Strategy Action Plan, which was supported by the state’s President and the Cabinet of Ministers. This action plan envisages implementation of several instruments relevant to raise efficiency in fighting organized crime and corruption”.