Ukraine parliament removes immunity of 3 of 5 MPs, refuses to detain

2017/7/12 14:27:09

Analyst: “Whether it was prodded by Western authorities or staging a public relations stunt for the Ukrainian public, the Poroshenko administration has demonstrated with this dog and pony show once again that it’s not serious about fighting corruption.”

 


KYIV, July 12, 2017 - Ukraine’s parliament voted on July 11 to remove the political immunity of two MPs – Boryslav Rosenblat, most recently of the Poroshenko Bloc, and Maksym Poliakov of the People’s Front – yet it failed to muster a majority in subsequent votes to approve their detention by law enforcement. Both Rosenblat and Poliakov stand accused of bribery and abuse of authority.

 

Parliament also voted to remove the immunity of Oles Dovhiy of the Will of the People group but the speaker didn’t hold a vote on his detention. Dovhiy is accused of abusing his authority to illegally privatize Kyiv-owned land when he was a secretary of the Kyiv city council.

 

The same day, parliament rejected the prosecutor general’s request to remove the immunity of Andriy Lozovyi of the Radical Party, accused of theft and tax evasion, and Yevhen Deydey of the People’s Front, who is accused of theft.

 

Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko said the parliamentary rules committee will review today his office’s case for removing the political immunity of Opposition Bloc MP Mykhaylo Dobkin, who is among the key political players in Ukraine’s second-largest city of Kharkiv. He is accused of abuse of authority, conspiracy to commit a crime, aiding and abetting crime and fraud. Lutsenko also said that day he's considering requesting the removal of immunity from Denys Dzendzerskiy of the People's Front party for false information on his asset and income declaration.

 

Concorde analyst Zenon Zawada added: “The bizarre world of Ukrainian politics never ceases to amuse. Rosenblat and Poliakov had their immunities removed but are unlikely to face a court trial and will be free to roam the halls of parliament. Rosenblat was evicted from the Poroshenko Bloc faction and will remain an independent MP, while the People’s Front is maintaining the position that the case against Poliakov is baseless.

 

“As our explanation for yesterday’s display in parliament, the Poroshenko administration likely felt pressure from Western authorities, particularly the IMF, to pursue measures to fight corruption, including prosecuting some influential officials. So they put together a list of expendable, unpopular MPs. But even with these unpopular MPs, the Poroshenko administration still couldn’t pursue the corruption fight to its logical conclusion (with prosecution and conviction). Although that possibility remains with Dovhiy, we believe it’s doubtful. 

 

“Whether it was prodded by Western authorities or staging a public relations stunt for the Ukrainian public, the Poroshenko administration has demonstrated with this dog and pony show once again that it’s not serious about fighting corruption. Had it truly wanted to prosecute these MPs, it would have lined up the necessary votes. After all, not even a majority of MPs of the president’s own faction, the Poroshenko Bloc, voted in favor of detaining the MPs who had their immunity removed (Rosenblat, Poliakov).

 

“Instead, most of the MPs accused by the prosecutor general likely backroom struck deals to avoid having their immunity removed (Lozovyi, Deydey) and avoid detention (Rosenblat, Poliakov). The authorities are still giving Dovhiy enough time to wriggle his way out of his mess. More promising is the criminal case against Dobkin, who is highly unpopular, widely suspected of criminality and has Russian-oriented positions that can make him a convenient scapegoat. In the end, the Poroshenko administration will be able to claim that it tried to satisfy Western demands in combating corruption, which we think is the main goal of all this.”

 

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For more information, link here: www.concorde.ua

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