Ukraine's lawmakers approve a law to jail officials for hiding wealth

Photo: EPA

Ukrainian parliament approved a law on Thursday to impose jail sentences on officials who make false asset declarations. The legislation was a requirement for the government to secure more loans from the IMF under a $5bn programme, Reuters reported. The legislation stipulates that officials who do not submit their asset declarations or fail to declare assets worth more than 4.2 million hryvnias ($150,000) face two years in jail.

Last October the Constitutional Court struck down some anti-corruption laws as excessive, including legislation that allows for the jailing of corrupt officials for hiding their wealth. That ruling has hobbled Ukraine's prospects of securing more IMF loans and prompted President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to suspend the head of the court.

After the voting the presidential website published a statement that Zelenskiy will refuse to approve legislation passed by parliament. According to him the lawmakers had watered down the bill with amendments that risked undermining Ukraine’s efforts to tackle corruption. “This is not what Ukrainians expect, and it is not what I promised them when I submitted this bill to parliament,” he said.

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