The Ukrainian government is not going reinstate Roman Nasirov as head of Ukraine’s State Fiscal Service, President Petro Poroshenko told a December 16 press conference in Kyiv.
Nasirov was arrested on corruption charges earlier this year in a case billed as netting the “first big fish” in the nascent anti-corruption drive. He was also the first member of the government elite to be indicted by the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU), in what became a test of the Ukrainian justice system. It was a test the system has failed.
He is accused of giving an order that cost the state budget UAH2bn (€70mn). In March, Nasirov was released from custody in Kyiv after his wife posted the UAH100mn (€3.5mn) bail.
A Kyiv court added insult to injury in December by ruling he was wrongfully dismissed from his post following his arrest, and ordering the government to reinstate him. Nasirov followed up by reiterating his intention to run for president in next year’s elections.
The international community reacted harshly to the news, with the US embassy, for one, issuing a very strongly worded statement that Nasirov was an “inappropriate person” to serve in the government following the corruption charges made against him.
The Ukrainian cabinet has appealed the December 11 court ruling and won’t reinstate him, “as far as I’m informed,” said Poroshenko, who is a personal friend of Nasirov. “I took into account the government’s position,” he said, adding that he hopes the appeals court will, “carefully learn all the conditions and reach a legal ruling.” The judge that reached the ruling “is not a representative of a reformed court and has not undergone the necessary evaluation,” he added.
Zenon Zawada of Concorde Capital said in a note: “The president makes clear in these remarks that he doesn’t share the cabinet’s position of being against Nasirov’s return. And he also confirmed that it won’t be the government reinstating Nasriov, but an appellate court. So we believe Poroshneko hasn’t given up in what we believe is likely a deliberate attempt to get Nasirov reinstated. Nonetheless, it’s possible that Poroshenko will drop this attempt if pressure mounts to avoid his reinstatement, particularly from Western structures.”