May 22, 2018 / 11:21 AM / 7 months ago

Ukraine's Poroshenko - we've listened to foreign partners on corruption law

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko speaks during a meeting of the country's Security and Defence Council in Kiev, Ukraine May 2, 2018. Mykola Lazarenko/Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Handout via REUTERS A

KIEV (Reuters) - President Petro Poroshenko said on Tuesday that Ukraine had taken into account most international recommendations in the latest draft law to create an anti-corruption court, which may be voted on by parliament this week.

A long-delayed tranche of loans from the International Monetary Fund’s $17.5 billion (13 billion pounds) aid-for-reforms programme hinges on parliament approving the bill, but it has not been clear if the latest version of the law guarantees the court’s independence in line with external guidance.

“Yesterday I was happy that the absolute majority of the recommendations of foreign partners including the Venice Commission were taken into account by the decision of the parliamentary committee,” Poroshenko told journalists, referring to a leading legal rights watchdog.

In recent days, the Ukrainian authorities have been consulting with the IMF and the Venice Commission on the law before a possible final vote in parliament this week, parliamentary Speaker Andriy Parubiy told local media on Monday.

Neither the Fund nor the commission have yet said what they think of the latest version of the law, which Ukraine’s backers see as a keystone of the country’s promised attempt to overhaul the graft-ridden justice system.

Delayed implementation of reforms and backtracking on changes to the energy sector have held up the disbursement of international funding that Ukraine needs to help finance peak payments on its foreign currency-denominated debt in 2018-2020.

Reporting by Pavel Polityuk; Writing by Alessandra Prentice; editing by Matthias Williams and David Stamp

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