Ukraine's National Agency on Corruption Prevention accused on Jan. 11 Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal of exposing the identity of a whistleblower who had reported wrongdoing of the head of the Commission for Regulation of Gambling and Lotteries. Shmyhal's spokesperson denied the allegation.
According to the agency, Shmyhal received a report from the commission's employee accusing the organization's head, Ivan Rudyi, of corruption. The prime minister then purportedly instructed relevant officials to process the report and inform the applicant and government of the results.
Among the officials was Rudyi himself, who, after finding out the whistleblower's name, initiated disciplinary proceedings against the employee.
"However, according to the law, the whistleblower cannot be subject to disciplinary action or be subjected to other negative influence measures by their manager or employer," the agency wrote on Facebook.
"Thus, the Prime Minister of Ukraine committed an administrative offense covered in Article 1728-2 of the Code on administrative offenses because he illegally disclosed information about the whistleblower, which became known to him in connection with the performance of official duties.
However, speaking with Ukrainska Pravda media outlet, Shmyhal's spokesperson Olha Kuryshko denied the prime minister's alleged misdeed, calling the agency's claims "another manipulation on the eve of the end of (the agency's head Oleksandr) Novikov's term in office."
According to Kuryshko, the report received and reviewed by Shmyhal in September was a citizen appeal from employees of the regulation commission dissatisfied with their manager's work. The government reviews such documents in accordance with the law "On Appeals of Citizens."
"This appeal was not a notification of corruption offenses and did not contain any information about possible facts of corruption," Kuryshko told Ukrainska Pravda.
The corruption prevention agency said it had invited Shmyhal to review a protocol on administrative offense on Jan. 10. He allegedly did not appear on the date and didn't report the reasons for his absence.
The agency then sent the protocol to a court. If Shmyhal is found guilty, he will face a fine. Shmyhal would also be deprived of the right to hold certain positions for one year, followed by him being included in the Unified State Register of persons who have committed corrupt or corruption-related offenses.