Ukraine's prosecutor general dismissed amid govt turmoil

AP News
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Posted: Mar 29, 2016 5:06 AM

MOSCOW (AP) — Ukraine's parliament on Tuesday accepted the resignation of the prosecutor general who has been accused of failing to deal with the country's endemic corruption.

The parliament voted overwhelmingly to dismiss Viktor Shokin who tended his resignation a month ago. An hour earlier, Shokin had fired his deputy — a reformist prosecutor and member of the team of former Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili, who serves as governor of the Odessa region. The deputy had accused Shokin of maintaining ties with corrupt officials and lawmakers.

Shokin's perceived unwillingness to clamp down on corruption and go after the lawmakers suspected of murky deals has caused public outcry and repeated calls for his resignation from Ukraine's pro-Western reformist wing. Several hundred people rallied outside the Ukrainian parliament on Monday, calling for the prosecutor's resignation.

Testifying to the deep divisions inside Ukraine's governing coalition, Economic Development Minister Aivaras Abromavicius, who has been outspoken about the role of corrupt elites in politics, said on Twitter after Shokin's dismissal: "Hallelujah! Finally!"

Ukraine's prime minister is also under pressure, and the parliament is expected to debate a motion to fire him later on Tuesday.