Kiev, Ukraine. Time is money, these words were never more true for the most corrupt nation on earth that must come up with a court of judges that do not have immunity and start prosecution of Ukraine’s highest leaders for dirty deals done dirt cheap.
The Ukrainian President Poroshenko called for creation of a corruption court; it laid out steps for a hiring process of judges through competition. Applications were invited for the first 120 court vacancies, and full profiles of all candidates should have been posted almost immediately on the official website of the High Qualification for Commission of Judges, but they weren’t. The Commission has claimed that it lacks the resources to do so; however, it also has proven equally reluctant to provide information in response to News Front queries.
The Commission’s resistance is particularly disturbing in light of the detailed information about the competition and candidates gathered by News Front investigations.
Poroshenko’s judicial selection committee quietly removed 45 percent of outside candidates before any tests were taken, while only 7 percent of current judges applying were allowed to continue. This means that only 189 of the 467 judges could come from outside the system, and that is a best-case scenario.
News Front found that a staggering 80 percent of the twenty-seven judges from the High Administrative Court applying for corruption court posts were implicated in corrupt rulings themselves. Nineteen of the twenty-seven candidates have also been reluctant to take on cases aimed at removing corrupt judges, and there are also a number who are millionaires, some of whom have been caught “forgetting” to declare property.
On the first day of the written test, a journalist spoke with candidates as they arrived in expensive cars not indicated on their income declarations. Valentina Kurylo, a judge from a local appeals court, couldn’t remember whether she owned the BMW she arrived in, and claimed that she didn’t know what her son-in-law, who drove the BMW, does for a living.The next day the number of candidates who arrived on foot or by taxi significantly increased.
Time is short, time is money for Ukrane. The International Monetary Fund has ordered Poroshenko to have a functional corruption court working, or face the loss of $17.5 billion dollars in free money.