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Examination Finds No Signs of Pressuring Judges in NBU Governor Yakiv Smolii’s Speech to NSDC of Ukraine

29 May 2019

Press Release

 

During his speech at the meeting of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine on 18 April 2019, Yakiv Smolii, Governor of the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU), exerted no pressure on the judges, showed no contempt for them, and did not call for anyone to disregard the rulings of the District Administrative Court of Kyiv that overturned the NBU’s decision to nationalize PrivatBank.

 

This is according to the findings of the semantics and text examination of the speech that was conducted by the Ukrainian Center for Forensic Examination based on the NSDC meeting’s transcript.

 

In particular, the examination answered three main questions regarding Mr Smolii’s speech at the NSDC meeting on 18 April 2019:

 

1.    What is the objective meaning of the statements made by the NBU Governor?

The forensic expert has concluded that Yakiv Smolii, during his speech, briefed the meeting’s participants on PrivatBank’s activities and achievements and on potential financial risks, both for the bank’s depositors and for the stability of the whole banking system, that may arise once the ruling of the District Administrative Court of Kyiv comes into force. In addition, the NBU Governor announced the intentions of the NBU Board to take certain legal actions (to apply to the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine and the Supreme Council of Justice and to file an appeal) seeking a revision of the said court ruling and to prevent the state from being stripped of its ownership of PrivatBank.

 

2.    Does the text of the NBU Governor’s speech contain any calls to disregard the court rulings?

According to the forensic expert, Yakiv Smolii made no statements that could qualify as calls to disregard the ruling of the District Administrative Court of Kyiv dated 18 April 2019, which declared the nationalization of PrivatBank unlawful.

 

3.    Does the text of the NBU Governor’s speech contain any signs, calls, or statements that can qualify as the influence on the court and judges or contempt of the court and judges?

The examination has found that Mr. Smolii’s speech contained no signs, calls, or statements that may qualify as the influence on, or contempt of, the court and judges.

 

On 24 May, the NBU filed appeals against two rulings that the District Administrative Court of Kyiv made on 18 April 2019. In lawsuit No. 826/7432/17, filed by Ihor Kolomoiskyi, the court ruled that the government’s bailout of the then insolvent CB PrivatBank PJSC was unlawful. In lawsuit No. 826/13813/17, filed by PrivatBank’s former shareholder, Cyprus-based Triantal Investments Ltd., the court overruled the NBU commission’s decision that identified the list of PrivatBank’s related parties. The NBU will continue to prove the legitimacy of its actions. Such court rulings pose a threat to Ukraine’s financial stability, the NBU believes.

 

For more on the threats to the NBU’s independence, please visit the special webpage titled NonPrivate Storm (available in Ukrainian): https://storm.bank.gov.ua/

 

For reference

The Ukrainian Center for Forensic Examination conducts forensic examinations, draws up expert opinions, appraises property and property rights, and consults on expert matters. The center’s forensic experts are certified by the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine and listed in the Certified Experts Register.

 


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Last modification   29.05.2019