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US closely watching bill restricting independence of Ukraine's anti-corruption bureau - Ambassador

US closely watching bill restricting independence of Ukraine's anti-corruption bureau - AmbassadorThe U.S. is closely monitoring the situation with the bill which gives the prosecutor general of Ukraine the right to determine the jurisdiction of criminal proceedings, thus depriving the National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU) of its independence in probing corruption cases, U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch has said.

Speaking at the Kyiv International Economic Forum 2016 on Thursday, she said that the U.S. is closely watching the new bill which was registered last week in order to restrict the independence of NABU.

Yovanovitch said it is important that Ukraine should make progress in the prosecution and conviction of high-placed bribe-takers and the U.S. wants to make sure that NABU has all the necessary tools to make it happen.

As reported, Ukraine's Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko said he wants to settle the issue of jurisdiction between law-enforcement agencies by stripping the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) of the exclusive right to investigate crimes involving corruption.

"There is so much criminality in the country that to give the exclusive right to one rather small law-enforcement to battle high-level corruption is not effective. We will not reduce NABU's grants of authority one iota … but simultaneously, if these allegedly corrupt officials [individuals who may be suspected of committing crimes involving corruption] are confronted by police, tax authorities or prosecutors, then the PGO chief may task these bodies with continuing with the case," Lutsenko said.
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