Pressed by IMF, Ukraine expands anti-corruption court

Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko attends a press conference with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg during a summit of heads of state and government at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, Thursday, July 12, 2018. NATO leaders gather in Brussels for a two-day summit. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)

MINSK, Belarus — Ukraine's parliament has adopted a measure to expand the powers of the country's new anti-corruption court, meeting an International Monetary Fund condition for restoring aid.

The measure adopted Thursday by parliament would extend the jurisdiction of the court, which was established in June, to handle all corruption cases, including those opened before the court was established.

The IMF in 2015 authorized $17.5 billion in aid to Ukraine to support reforms. But disbursements were halted because of Ukraine's delay in undertaking IMF-prescribed reform measures, including forming the anti-corruption court.

After the court was authorized, Ukraine hoped a $1.9-billion aid tranche would be released, but the IMF responded to creditor concerns by calling for the court's powers to be extended.

Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko's failure to uproot corruption has caused growing public outrage.

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