The Director of the National anticorruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) Artem Sytnik said that the launch of the anti-corruption court in Ukraine to 2018 will be a test for the Ukrainian authorities about the presence of political will to fight corruption.

“We are very close approached the point of no return in anti-corruption reform. And or in 2018 appears the court will be able to review these cases (cases related to corruption – if) and put them in the dot, or the Ukraine confirms that the political will to fight corruption we have,” – said A. Sytnik at a joint briefing with the head of SAP Nazar Holodnenkim Thursday in Kiev.

He noted that very long debate on the bill on the anti-corruption court and, finally, at the end of 2017 he was introduced to the Parliament. “I am very happy that now the Parliament is the law on the anti-corruption court draft law and made authoritative subject – the President of Ukraine”, – he said.

“I hope this court will be launched this year. Because I declare that if this law is to take February or March, then this institution can be set up before the end of 2018. And this will be a test for our government on the political will to fight corruption,” said A. Sytnik.

He noted that no anti-corruption court activities of NABOO will not be effective because only the court decides the person is guilty or not.

“It (the draft law on anti-corruption court – if), of course, is not ideal. Shortcomings of those that are in this bill, much has been written and experts, and representatives of civil society and our international partners, I am not going to repeat them. I hope that the Parliament to pay attention to all this and will pass a law which will give the opportunity to create an independent institution,” – said the Director of the NABOO.

He also expressed doubt that there will be many people wishing to work in the newly created anti-corruption court, but is confident that “our government will be able to delegate to this court those people who will be able to consider these things under enormous pressure.”

In turn, the head of the Specialized anti-corruption procuracy N. Holodnitsky expressed concerns that this year’s anti-corruption court will not begin its work.

“What we are worried is the creation and beginning of functioning of the anti-corruption court. Examples… confirm that this court is needed, and I, for example, are not so optimistic as Artem Sergeevich and see that the pace of voting laws, discussion, and taking into account Ukrainian realities, I’m afraid that this court will not be able to make this 2018, unfortunately”, – said the head of SAP.

A. Sytnik also noted that provided a briefing report on activities of NABU and SAP is “proof that without the establishment of a specialized anti-corruption court, which will consider the case for years and within a reasonable time” all the work of anti-corruption agencies “has virtually no meaning.”

According to him, currently within investigation of criminal proceedings arrested a lot of possessions, blocked a huge amount of money that can be returned to the state, “but in the absence of convictions in these cases to solve the issue of the return of these funds and the appointment of fair punishment for those who are reasonably suspected of these crimes today in our courts is impossible.”