Chief of Ukraine Supreme Court Is Arrested and Accused of Bribery

The chair of Ukraine’s Supreme Court docket was faraway from his publish after being arrested in a bribery investigation, two anti-corruption our bodies mentioned on Tuesday.

The businesses didn’t determine the chair by title, however mentioned it was the Supreme Court docket chief. On Tuesday, Vsevolod Knyazev was dismissed as chief justice after an amazing majority of the court docket’s judges voted to strip him of the place, based on native information experiences.

The authorities accused the justice of accepting $2.7 million in bribes.

“It is a darkish day within the historical past of the court docket,” the court docket’s judges mentioned in a joint assertion. “We have to be worthy and face up to such a blow.”

The judges added that they might totally cooperate with investigations, and that the court docket should “act on the precept of self-purification, taking all essential measures.”

Mr. Knyazev stays a Supreme Court docket choose; a separate physique, the Excessive Council of Justice, has the facility to take away him, based on Ukrinform, a state information company.

The Nationwide Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine posted images on Fb that included piles of American {dollars} stacked on a desk and a settee. The company’s chief, Semen Kryvonos, mentioned a bribe was paid for ruling in favor of the Finance and Credit score monetary group, which is owned by a outstanding businessman, based on Reuters.

The Specialised Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Workplace mentioned on Telegram that it and the bureau had “caught the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court docket and a lawyer red-handed whereas receiving an unlawful profit.”

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Corruption, and Ukraine’s lengthy battle in opposition to it, had largely receded within the public’s consideration after the Russian invasion final February, as Ukrainians rallied across the military and authorities at a time of nationwide peril.

However this yr, President Volodymyr Zelensky has retrained his deal with combating corruption, aimed toward sustaining Ukrainians’ belief within the wartime authorities after a number of officers had been fired in January amid a serious corruption scandal.

And as Ukraine seeks fast-track entry to the European Union, the nation’s lack of ability to suppress graft and corruption has involved its Western allies.

Anastasia Kuznietsova and Matt Surman contributed reporting.

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