Michael MacKay, Radio Lemberg, 06.02.2019
The Kyiv District Administrative Court has has stopped the Acting Health Minister of Ukraine, Dr. Ulyana Suprun, from doing her job. This shocking decision was not announced by the court in a normal fashion but was revealed in a social media posting by Oleh Lyashko, leader of the Radical Party and a member of the Verkhovna Rada. The presidential administration in Ukraine, the Ministry of Health, and the diplomatic community in Kyiv are all struggling to figure out what is going on. It appears as if the court system in Ukraine – which is unreformed and has never undergone lustration – is attempting to extinguish one of the brightest lights in President Petro Poroshenko’s cabinet.
The Kyiv District Administrative Court is the most notorious part of the unlustrated judiciary in Ukraine. It uses rule by law to thwart rule of law. This court finds picayune details of administrative law to cover for its political decisions against reform and against anti-corruption in Ukraine. The Kyiv court favoured the thin grounds provided by MP Ihor Mosiychuk to ban Dr. Suprun from performing her duties. This same court reinstated Roman Nasirov, the prize catch of the National Anti-corruption Bureau of Ukraine for his alleged fraud of $70 million during the years of the Yanukovych Clan. The Kyiv court also clamped down on Ukraine’s co-operation with U.S. legal authorities who are investigating the crimes of Paul Manafort with the Yanukovych Clan.
The Kyiv District Administrative Court is the exemplar of why lustration must take place among the corrupt judiciary in Ukraine.
The Ambassador of the United Kingdom to Ukraine, Judith Gough, tweeted: “Still awaiting further details on this case, but concerned about the potential impact on Ukraine's vital healthcare reforms.” Canada’s ambassador, Roman Waschuk, tweeted: “Also watching this one closely. / À suivre.” Both the UK and Canada have made significant investments in the reform of health care in Ukraine. They have backed Dr. Suprun’s efforts to move the health care system in Ukraine out of the corrupt and inefficient state it is in as a legacy of the years of the criminal Russian occupation of Ukraine.
President Poroshenko reacted swiftly to the court ruling and backed Dr. Suprun to the hilt. President Poroshenko tweeted: “@usuprun She has the full support of the President of Ukraine. I appreciate all that we have done in the direction of medical reform. I appreciate the help in introducing rural medicine. In the first case, judicial reform has not been undertaken. I am convinced that the reform of the Supreme Court will establish the truth in this case.”
Ukrainians did not fight and win the Revolution of Dignity to let a corrupt court stop health care reform. Nearly every Ukrainian has direct experience of paying bribes to receive health care that is supposedly already paid for by the state. Ukraine’s international reputation will be badly damaged if a judiciary that has never undergone lustration causes the failure of Dr. Suprun’s attempts at reform of health care.