10:10 Nov. 2, 2016
General Prosecutor warns lengthy prison sentences await those found guilty of wrongdoings
Ukrainian authorities will investigate politicians and officials who declare cash assets of more than USD 100,000 and will impose prison sentences of up to 15 years on any found guilty of wrongdoing, General Prosecutor Yuriy Lutsenko said on Tuesday.
His announcement came after Ukraine completed a landmark anti-corruption reform obliging tens of thousands of officials, all the way up to the president and prime minister, to declare their wealth in an online database.
Although a Western-backed government came to power in 2014 promising reform, corruption remains entrenched. Declarations of millions of dollars in cash, expensive Swiss watches and luxury cars have shocked many in a country where the average monthly salary is little over USD 200.
"The online declaration is not the end of the process, but only the beginning," Lutsenko told a briefing, adding more than half of the lawmakers in parliament had declared possession of more than USD 100,000 in cash.
The prosecutor's own family may not be immune from investigation. His wife, herself a lawmaker, declared owning USD 280,000 and EUR 50,000 euros in cash, as well as a smaller amount in the local hryvnia currency.