“To say that the PIC members have absolutely no sins, that wouldn’t be entirely true. It turns out that some of them have established some sort of “business”, where they were visiting judges saying “you have to pay to receive a positive opinion”. Now, these judges are being interrogated on this matter.”
The Public Integrity Council is willing to emphasize that while accusing civil society representatives (the PIC specifically) of “establishing business” Mr. Venislavskyi failed to provide any particular facts that would support his case.
Moreover, his referral to “positive opinion” means only that Mr. Venislavskyi himself is not familiar with the PIC’s authority. The Law “On Judiciary and Status of Judges” provides that the PIC is not issuing positive opinions regarding judges – only opinions on non-compliance with criteria of professional ethics and integrity.
The Public Integrity Council is deeply concerned about the fact that while the President supports the participation of civil society representatives in judicial reform, his representative in the Constitutional Court is spreading false information regarding the PIC.
Therefore, we publicly address Mr. Venislavskyi with a request to provide any evidence in support of his statement, otherwise – to deny his allegations.
We also would like to declare our readiness to support the discovery of misconduct, as well as testify in any criminal investigations and refute all doubts and suspicions.
It should also be kept in mind that during this year the PIC faced multiple information attacks and provocations. For instance, in July-August 2019, the presidents of the courts informed the PIC about letters in which fake organizations were requesting information on judges in name of the PIC. Also, it is known that some attorneys have been blackmailing particular judges and demanding money for withdrawing from the PIC their complaints on these judges.
The PIC calls for all public officials to act responsibly and refrain from spreading false information. We expect that Mr. Venislavskyi with no delay provides his clear position regarding his previous statements. We also anticipate the results of the above-mentioned investigations, if such exist.