US embassy urges selection commission for anti-graft agency chief ‘to return to work’

29 December 2021, 04:41 PM

The U.S. embassy in Ukraine has called on members of the commission to select the head of the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office, or SAPO, to “return to work.” 

The embassy, writing on Twitter on Dec. 29 urged the selection commission “not (to) allow corrupt external forces to block the work you were entrusted to finish.”

“The United States calls on commission members for the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor election to return to work, respect their own procedures and do what’s right for Ukrainian people by certifying their own SAP selection,” the embassy said in its tweet.

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The Anti-Corruption Action Center, a Ukrainian non-profit watchdog funded by the U.S. and European countries that promotes anti-corruption legislation and enforcement, said on Dec. 29 that the “Prosecutor General’s Office illegally re-launched vetting of ‘their’ candidate for the position of the head of the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office.”

The candidate in question is Andriy Synyuk, a prosecutor from the Prosecutor General’s Office who took second place in the ranking and is running for the position of deputy head of the SAPO.

The selection commission on Dec. 21 almost elected Oleksandr Klymenko, a former detective of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine, as the new head of SAPO.

However, five commission members that were appointed by the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s parliament, refused to vote for final approval of Klymenko’s candidacy. The selection commission meeting was postponed, but a new date for it has not been publicly announced

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