Prosecutor’s Office and business: dialogue about legality. Results of the meeting of January 24, 2024

For the ninth year in a row, the Business Ombudsman Council has been acting as an independent mechanism for resolving complex issues in B2G relations. That is exactly the purpose for which on January 24, 2024, Andrii Kostin, the Prosecutor General of Ukraine, with the support of the Business Ombudsman of Ukraine Roman Waschuk, met with business associations leaders to frankly talk about relevant business problems in interaction with law enforcement bodies.

Filled with emotions and hope, business representatives raised before the Prosecutor General issues the business community currently is most concerned about, including a high-profile arrest of Concord Capital owner and searches in the company’s premises.

The Prosecutor General shared with the meeting participants key achievements of his office in 2023 and assured in further working in a way similar to the National Security and Defense Council and  decision and the Decree of the President, which should be aimed at reducing law enforcement bodies’ pressure on business and building business entities’ trust in them.

On his part, the Business Ombudsman, when responding to episodes of law enforcement bodies’ pressure on business, emphasized: “The current situation we have is unacceptable, when the investigation process itself is already treated as punishment for all in the spotlight of law enforcement officers,” said Mr. Waschuk. “The transition to essential and proportional approach to pre-trial investigation is of importance. Only then criminal proceedings will turn from an instrument of pressure into a civilized one for prosecuting those who committed an offence.”

As a result of the meeting moderated by the Deputy Business Ombudsman Tetiana Korotka, the Business Ombudsman Roman Waschuk agreed with the Prosecutor General of Ukraine Andrii Kostin on the following steps:

  • appeal to public authorities with a request on appointing heads of controlling bodies: State Tax and Customs Services, State Service of Ukraine on Food Safety and Consumer Protection;
  • actively cooperate to prevent any illegal pressure manifestations on bona fide business;
  • continuing our dialogue, to introduce quarterly meetings of the Prosecutor General with business associations where one can openly discuss all current problems and necessary joint steps.

Among participants of the meeting were representatives of the European Business Association, American Chamber of Commerce, Ukrainian League of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Federation of Employers of Ukraine, Ukrainian League of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, Diia.City Residents Association, UNIC, Association of Taxpayers of Ukraine, Ukrainian Bar Association, CEO Club Ukraine and the Ukrainian Business Council. Halyna Yanchenko, a People’s Deputy and the Head of VRU Special Temporary Committee on Investors’ Rights Protection, also joined the meeting Committee.

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