Diplomatic breakfast “State Bureau of Investigation: is there still a way to ensure independence?”

We would like to cordially invite you to the diplomatic breakfast organized by the Reanimation Package of Reforms and Eurooptimists Interfactional Union “State Bureau of Investigation: is there still a way to ensure independence?”, which will take place on Monday, March 19, from 10:00am to 12:00pm. The event will start with a welcome coffee at 9:30 am.
On November 16, 2017, after over 1.5 years of the competition, the committee selected the management of the State Bureau of Investigations (SBI) – a new law enforcement agency with unprecedentedly broad powers, including the powers to investigate corruption cases involving NABU leadership and the head of Special Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office.
All three SBI managers represent an old prosecutorial system, which signifies that the selection process did not lead to the personnel renewal. Besides, the selection was marked by a number of scandals related to the political interference, lack of transparency and procedural violations. Notably, the newly appointed SBI director, Roman Truba, was directly involved in the unlawful prosecution of activists from Lviv region who supported the EuroMaidan.
This state of affairs is no accident: the selection panel is composed of the members who are either directly affiliated or controlled by the ruling political elites (pro-Presidential bloc in the parliament and the People’s Front).
Alarmingly, the same panel will be in charge of selecting heads of all SBI departments, chairs of regional offices (7 in total) and the entire composition of the SBI internal control units. The selection committee is already accepting candidates’ applications for the listed positions.
To dismiss the current selection panel from further recruitment and thus significantly reduce political interference in the SBI establishment, a group of MPs (Mustafa Nayyem, Olena Sotnyk, Leonid Yemets and others) registered in the parliament draft law #7450However, yesterday, on March 13, the parliament failed to support this bill and sent it back to the main committee, along with two other draft laws on this matter (#5395 and #6430).
It is important to note that the establishment of the SBI is not only an essential component of the reform of the prosecution system, but also a starting point in transforming the Security Service of Ukraine (SSU) into a solely counter-intelligence body: only after the SBI formation SSU investigative units can be eliminated.
So, what is the potential impact of a strong political component in the SBI establishment and how to minimize it? What are the next stages of the SBI formation? What are the legislative gaps hampering transparency of this process? Is there a way to ensure effective public control over the selection and what can the international community do to support these efforts?
These and other questions will be addressed by following speakers:
– Hanna Hopko, MP, Chairwoman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Parliament;
– Mustafa Nayyem, MP, Member of the European Integration Committee;
– Olena Sotnyk, MP, Secretary of the European Integration Committee;
– Leonid Yemets, MP, First Deputy Chair of the Legal Policy and Justice Committee;
– Victoria Ptashnyk, MP, Member of the Economic Policy Committee;
 Oleksandr Banchuk, lead RPR expert on law enforcement reform, Board Member of the Center for Policy and Legal Reform;
– Zlata Simonenko, RPR expert on law enforcement reform, attorney-at-law;
– Yevhen Krapyvin, RPR expert on law enforcement reform, UMDPL Association.
Moderator – Olena Prokopenko, Head of RPR International Relations.
If you are interested in this event, please kindly confirm your participation by filling out the registration form or, in case of technical restrictions, RSVP to this email directly.
Should you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me at this address or via cell phone: +38 097 269 8887.