World Bank joins IMF in criticism of Ukraine’s anti-corruption draft law

Police officers stand guard outside the Ukrainian parliament as protesters take part in a rally and call for the deputies to recognize Russia as an aggressor state in Kiev, on January 16, 2017. The World Bank has joined the IMF in criticizing a Ukrainian draft law to create an anti-corruption court. (AFP)
Updated 16 January 2018
0

World Bank joins IMF in criticism of Ukraine’s anti-corruption draft law

KIEV: The World Bank has joined the International Monetary Fund in criticizing a Ukrainian draft law to create an anti-corruption court, the newspaper Ukrainska Pravda reported on Monday, citing a letter from the lender to the presidential administration.
In response to international pressure to speed up the process, President Petro Poroshenko submitted a new draft law to parliament in December, but the IMF and now the World Bank say the legislation is not in line with recommendations from the Venice Commission, a European rights and legal watchdog.
Ukraine’s Western backers have long called for the authorities to establish an independent court to handle corruption cases. Slow progress has delayed the disbursement of foreign loans.
The World Bank’s country director, Satu Kahkonen, has written to the presidential administration to express the bank’s concerns about parts of the bill, Ukrainska Pravda said, publishing what it said was the text of the letter in full.
“We believe that the draft law requires the following revisions to bring it into alignment with the recommendations of the Venice Commission and satisfy the requirements of the World Bank’s estimated $800 million Policy-Based Guarantee to support key reforms in Ukraine,” she said, in a letter dated Jan. 15.
Among its recommendations, it says the court’s future jurisdiction needs to be better aligned with that of anti-corruption investigators and prosecutors.
The World Bank in Ukraine did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the Ukrainska Pravda report.
The letter cited echoes one sent by the IMF to the president’s office earlier in January which warned that the draft law did not guarantee the independence of the court.
The presidential administration did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
On Monday, in response to the IMF’s letter, it denied the law was not in line with Venice Commission recommendations and said the authorities had the political will to create an independent anti-corruption court.
Since its 2013-14 pro-European uprising, Ukraine has received $8.4 billion from the IMF and over $5 billion from the World Bank among other backers, helping it to return to growth of over 2 percent in 2016.
However the disbursement of funding was held up last year over perceived backtracking on reform commitments that raised doubts about the authorities’ will to eliminate corruption and modernize the economy.


Cape Verde opens investigation after migrant boat sails to Brazil

Updated 25 May 2018
0

Cape Verde opens investigation after migrant boat sails to Brazil

  • Foreign Affairs Minister Luis Filipe: “There were no Cape Verdeans on board but because the ship began its crossing in Cape Verde we are going to investigate so that other cases do not occur.”
  • There were 25 migrants — all men — on the boat and two Brazilians, reportedly suspected of being people traffickers.

PRAIA: Cape Verde has opened an investigation after 25 African migrants were found off the coast of Brazil after reportedly spending five weeks at sea.
The country’s Foreign Affairs Minister Luis Filipe said the migrant boat started its great journey in the west African archipelago.
“There were no Cape Verdeans on board but because the ship began its crossing in Cape Verde we are going to investigate so that other cases do not occur,” Filipe Tavaras said on TV Wednesday night.
On Saturday, local fishermen found the catamaran, flying the Haitian flag, drifting off the Brazilian coastal town of Sao Jose de Ribamar, south of the Amazon river, the Brazilian navy said.
There were 25 migrants — all men — on the boat and two Brazilians, reportedly suspected of being people traffickers.
The migrants came from Guinea, Nigeria and Senegal on the other side of the Atlantic, the human rights department for Brazil’s state of Maranhao said in a statement.
They had reportedly spent 35 days afloat but there was no immediate indication of what route they had taken.
Brazilian police will investigate possible crimes committed against the migrants and evaluate their legal situation.
Cape Verde, a group of nine inhabited volcanic islands, lies some 500 kilometers (300 miles) off the west African countries of Guinea-Bissau and Senegal.
The islands gained independence from Portugal in 1975, after an 11-year liberation war.