June 18 Statement on the Rule of Law in Ukraine
The Ukrainian Canadian Congress is committed to supporting a strong, united and prosperous Ukraine.
Recent charges against former President Petro Poroshenko, who is accused of a crime for exercising his Constitutional prerogative as President, give cause for concern. In other cases before the courts we have seen the administration violating the presumption of innocence, depriving these individuals of due process.
The presumption of innocence, fair process and a justice system free of political interference are in danger of being violated.
Ukraine cannot afford to undermine the principles of the Revolution of Dignity by targeting political opponents with legal persecution and reappointing officials who served in the corrupt Yanukovych administration. Doing so will undermine Western support for Ukraine.
It is essential that Ukraine complete the process of judicial reform. Ukraine must make significant progress to ensure that the prosecutorial and judicial branches remain free from political interference and manipulation.
As we have seen from the examples of the Ukrainian Supreme Court and High Anti-Corruption Court, judicial reform is possible. Using the holdovers in lower courts for partisan advantage sets back the cause of fairness that Canada and Canadians have so actively supported.
Only then will we see a truly free, democratic and prosperous Ukraine. Ukrainians deserve this.