On June 29, the Verkhovna Rada voted in favor of updates to the law No.4651 set to hold public officials accountable for undeclared assets and false information in assets declarations. The Ukrainian president earlier vetoed the law and returned it to Ukraine’s parliament for reconsideration citing amendments by MPs that watered down the document.
In a Tuesday statement, National Agency of Corruption Prevention (NACP) weighed in on Zelensky’s amendments to the policy.
‘Regretfully, the president’s veto made sentences under art.366-3 shorter – now it is one year in jail instead of three years. The earlier draft law introduced by the president following the National Security and Defense Council meeting of December 29, 2020, called for 2-year sentence’, claims the statement.
Welcoming the new law as an ‘important step’ that can help Ukraine tackle corruption issues, NACP raises concern over the law updates that bring in looser accountability approach and softer penalties. Initially, officials would face jail for undeclared assets of over one million hryvnas, but Zelensky’s interference now sets the threshold at four and half million hryvnas, argues Oleksandr Novikov, NACP head.
Zelensky’s amendments to the law no.4651 got votes of 315 Ukrainian MPs. The vote updated art.366-3 of Ukraine’s Criminal Code bringing back a 2-year sentence for assets declaration avoidance, and closes the loophole that spared officials of declaring the property earlier transferred to family members who later fail to report it themselves.