Ukraine’s parliament voted on December 4 to reimpose penalties for officials who provide false information about their incomes, defying an earlier ruling from the nation’s highest court.
Ukraine’s Constitutional Court in October annulled key parts of the nation’s anti-corruption legislation, sparking a widespread backlash at home and abroad. The decision threatened Western financial aid to Kyiv and visa-free travel to Europe Union countries.
The nation’s highest court declared unconstitutional a provision that required officials to submit electronic asset declarations. It also struck down legislation that made providing false income information a criminal offense.
Ukraine has suffered from widespread corruption for decades that has held back foreign investment and economic growth. The prior legislation, passed after the 2013-14 Euromaidan protests that pushed Moscow-friendly President Viktor Yanukovuych from power, helped combat the problem by exposing and punishing those officials involved in graft.
The new bill passed by parliament on December 4 is less severe.
According to its provisions, an official who deliberately conceals assets worth between 1.3 million and 9 million hryvnya ($46,000 and $318,000) can be fined between 42,500 and 51,000 hryvnya ($1,500 to $1,800) or sentenced to between 150 and 240 hours of community service.
Those who fail to declare assets worth over 9 million hryvnya will face a fine of between 51,000 and 85,000 hryvnya ($1,800 to $3,000) and between 150 and 240 hours of community service or up to two years of “restrictions of freedom” that do not include imprisonment.
Additionally, any official convicted of hiding income can be banned from holding public office for up to three years