Activists hold 300-strong car protest drive to house of Ukraine’s Prosecutor General

The main attribute of the rally was a checkered blanket, symbolizing the blanket which ex-fiscal chief Roman Nasirov covered himself with during court hearings in his corruption case. Photo: Oleksandr Pliva

The main attribute of the rally was a checkered blanket, symbolizing the blanket which ex-fiscal chief Roman Nasirov covered himself with during court hearings in his corruption case. Photo: Oleksandr Pliva  

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On December 9, international anti-corruption day, activists in Ukraine held a protest drive-in to the house of Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko. The 300-strong car protest was organized by Automaidan and the Corruption Prevention Center and is a direct reminder of the car rallies which Euromaidan protesters held to the house of Yanukovych four years ago. Then, Automaidan, regarded as the “cavalry of Euromaidan,” became the frontline of Ukraine’s civil protests, as the mobile, independent car drivers allowed to quickly counteract the government’s offensives on the protesters.

The protest participants brought a checkered blanket they said is the “clan flag of corruptioners.” Apparently, the blanket is meant to symbolize the manipulations surrounding the health conditions of ex fiscal-chief Roman Nasirov, who attempted to evade responsibility in the allegations of corruption presented against him with the diagnosis of a heart attack, a diagnosis which was unconfirmed by an expert commission by the Ministry of Health.

Nasirov during the first court hearing. Photo: Radio Svoboda

Nasirov lying on a checkered blanket during the first court hearing in his case in spring 2017. Photo: Radio Svoboda

The car rally was apolitical, without flags of political organizations.

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The reason for the rally to the house of Yuriy Lutsenko was the recent escalation in the war between the Ukrainian law enforcement agencies, namely, the Prosecutor General’s Office )GPU), and the National Anticorruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU), an investigative anticorruption agency set up after Euromaidan which is considered to be the only politically independent anti-corruption organ today. On 29 November, NABU claimed that its sting operation was thwarted by the GPU and security service, which busted its undercover agents while they had attempted to give a bribe to a worker of the State Migration Service. Then, Lutsenko said that the agency was using illegal means. The incident was part of an ongoing “war of anticorruptionists” and culminated on 13 December in a botched attempt to put NABU and other anti-corruption agencies in Ukraine under the control of the Parliament.

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Law enforcement representatives were present at Lutsenko’s house, but did not react to the participants of the rally.

“At the end of the last week, Yuriy Lutsenko disclosed secret agents of the NABU, in this way saving the top-corrupts who were investigated by the Anticorruption Bureau. Some time ago, these undercover agents exposed corruption among MPs in the case of the amber mafia. So basically instead of the promised war against corruption, Lutsenko became the main protector of the top-corrupts from NABU. Moreover, disclosing information about agents is a state secret, is a violation of art. 328 of Ukraine’s Criminal Code and is punished by up to 5 years in jail,” the rally’s organizers said in their statement.

/by Alya Shandra

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