Oleksandr Klymenko, a detective at the National Anti-Corruption Bureau, was announced the winner of the selection of the new Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor on July 19.
Klymenko received the highest score in the competition back in December. But despite de facto winning the vacancy in late 2021, the results were not officially finalized by the selection panel, leaving the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office (SAPO) without a head. The post has been vacant since August 2020.
Now that the winner was announced, the Prosecutor General's Office has three days to appoint Klymenko as the head of SAPO. However, with Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova on her way out, a formality can drag indefinitely.
"Yes, the commission technically approved Klymenko's victory in the competition, but the head is appointed by the Prosecutor General," Vitaly Shabunin, the head of the Anti-Corruption Action Center's executive board, wrote on Telegram.
Shabunin says it is possible that while the Prosecutor General's Office drags on with the confirmation, the competition may be canceled.
President Volodymyr Zelensky submitted to parliament a motion to dismiss Venediktova on July 19. Zelensky removed Veneditkova two days prior, citing a high number of suspected traitors among prosecutors as the main reason for his decision.
The appointment of a new Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor has been key to Ukraine’s EU obligations. But the selection has been stalled for months, and many activists believe it was being sabotaged by the President's Office.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on June 17, during official remarks concerning granting Ukraine and Moldova EU candidate status, that Kyiv must swiftly appoint the head of the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office.
A month later, in a July 17 video address, Zelensky urged to appoint the winner of the competition.