Paradox of Kostiantyn Kulyk: Double standards of Ukraine’s judicial system


Kostiantyn Kulyk, former prosecutor of Ukraine’s Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO), is accused of illicit enrichment, based on the fact that his expenses greatly exceed his income.

Ukrainska Pravda [Ukrainian Truth] published the full text of Kulyk’s notification of suspicion, which states that from 2011 till April 14, 2015 the total comprehensive income of Kulyk and his civil wife Iryna Nimets amounted to 1,018,803.33 hryvnias, while during the same time they acquired assets for the amount of 1,966,565.75 hryvnias.

The case against the prosecutor Kostiantyn Kulyk was initiated in December 2015 and in October 2016 he was charged. The Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko claimed that he will not be defending Kulyk and that Kulyk will be answering to the charges brought up against him like any citizen of Ukraine. Although Lutsenko did mention that he would consult the leadership of NACB to make sure that their investigation does not interfere with Lutsenko and Kulyk’s joint work on their high-profile cases.

The trial is still ongoing.  Yet it did not prevent the Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko from appointing him the Deputy Head of the Department of International Legal Cooperation of the Prosecutor General’s Office (PGO) in April 2018. An appointment that came hand in hand with the Kramatorsk court decision to arrest the nearly $1.5 billion of ‘Yanukovych’s money’ – one of those high-profile cases Lutsenko and Kulyk worked together on. This case was won thanks to a deal made with Arkadiy Kashkin, who admitted to laundering money for companies related to Kurchenko (of Yanukovych’s team). Incidentally, Arkadiy Kashkin and Kostiantyn Kulik studied together at the same university, although Kulyk claims to not have previously known Kashkin.

Meanwhile, Kulyk is working at his new position, making plans for the future and does not seem to take the charges brought up against him too seriously. During the whole year of 2018 only one court hearing on Kulyk’s case actually took place, as Kulyk could make it to most scheduled court hearings. Yet at the most recent hearing the court rejected the prosecutors’ petition to set penalty for the defendant’s repeated absence in court for no valid reason. Even though court dates are always set in advance, it just happened so that Kulyk was in Germany getting medical tests done on that exact date.  Although he had an even better excuse for missing the court in December 2018 – going on vacation to Dominican Republic with his family. Still, the court did not see fit to penalize Kulyk for that.

Better still, National Agency on Corruption Prevention already concluded that Kulyk’s questionable declaration of 2016 did not show any signs of illicit enrichment provided for by the Criminal Code of Ukraine. It seems that the ex-prosecutor “misrepresented” his right to use the apartment and its worth.

So much for Juridical system of Ukraine where ex-prosecutor Kostiantyn Kulyk not only get indicted for illicit enrichment but get promoted to another position within the same system.

Will the justice ever be served in Ukraine?