On July 26th 2019 the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU), together with the Department for Special Investigations of the General Prosecutor’s Office of Ukraine (HPU), made public records of conversations of Mr Pavlo Vovk, Chairman of the Administrative Area Court of Kyiv (OASK) that testify the fact of using the position by Ms Liudmila Denisova, Ombudsman of the Parliament of Ukraine for Human Rights, for personal interests related with the protocols of the National Agency on Counteracting Corruption (NAZK), by launching a contest for a position of the Supreme Qualification Commission of Judges of Ukraine member (VKKS) on behalf of the Parliament Ombudsman for the interests of the third parties. It was Ms Liudmila Denisova who had placed a claim to the OASK on cancelling the NAZK decisions against her. Considering the records published by the law enforcement officers, Mr Pavlo Vovk used this fact when it became necessary for him to ‘convince’ the Ombudsman to launch new contests for VKKS members and to ensure a victory of loyal people. Ms Denisova complied with the request of the OASK Chairman, so Mr Mykola Sirosh, who had been previously interviewed by Mr Vovk, won it. Then the only VKKS member supported by the public – Mr Andriy Kozlov – was dismissed, and a contest for his position was launched on July 30th.
The NAZK had revealed earlier an unreliable information in the declarations of ex-MP Ms Luidmila Denisova, the Parliamentary Ombudsman, for 2015, 2016, and 2017. Based on the investigation data and as testified by the published files of secret investigation (search) actions, Ms Denisova agreed on this ‘scheme’ for the exchange of disappearance of these protocols.
Pursuant to Law of Ukraine ‘On the Ombudsman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine’ an Ombudsman shall act independently of other governmental bodies and officials. Reading out the oath, which violation constitutes a reason for terminating the authorities and dismissing, the Ombudsman, when coming to the position, swears ‘to defend human and citizen rights and freedoms honestly and scrupulously, exercise the duties in good faith, follow Constitution of Ukraine and Laws of Ukraine, and to be governed by justice and own conscience’, undertakes a commitment ‘to act independently, impartially, for a sake of man and citizen’.
In our opinion, the situation that has occurred due to publishing the documents discrediting Ms Denisova, hinders an independence of the entire institution of Parliamentary Ombudsman for Human Rights. We would remind that the Ombudsman Office numbers several hundreds of people, including regional representatives, that take care of a vast list of issues related to the human rights.
We think that in order to preserve the national and international confidence to the Ombudsman Office Mr Liudmila Denisova shall not remain any more on the position of the Parliamentary Ombudsman and state the following requirements:
To Ms Liudmila Denisova, Parliamentary Ombudsman:
- To cancel an open contest on selecting a candidate for appointing a member of the Supreme Qualification Commission of Judges of Ukraine on behalf of the Parliamentary Ombudsman to be held on July 30th 2019;
- To revoke VKKS members appointed under the pressure
- To cancel orders on dismissing the VKKS members made under the pressure
- To vacate the authorities of the Parliamentary Ombudsman
To law enforcement bodies of Ukraine:
- To start a criminal case and to investigate independently the information published by the NABU on a probable criminal offence made by Ms Liudmila Denisova
To Parliament of Ukraine of 9th Convocation:
- Pursuant to Law of Ukraine “On Ombudsman of Parliament of Ukraine on Human Rights’ (Article 9) to create a temporary special purpose commission of the Parliament of Ukraine and to prepare an opinion on presence or absence of reasons for dismissing the Ombudsman due to oath violation
Crimean Human Rights Group
Media Initiative for Human Rights
Diya Human Rights Center