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NABU: Supreme Court head arrested but not charged yet
Charges will be filed against Supreme Court Head Vsevolod Kniaziev and one other individual who were detained for receiving bribes, the heads of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU) and the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office (SAPO) said during a press conference on May 16.
Kniaziev was detained by authorities on May 15.
The judges of the Supreme Court are preparing to consider a vote of no confidence against Kniaziev in a meeting, Ukrainska Pravda reported on May 16, citing Dmytro Luspenchyk, the secretary of the Supreme Court's plenary sessions.
"The Supreme Court emphasizes that a full, objective investigation of all circumstances will contribute to establishing the truth as soon as possible and restoring justice. There must be an inevitable punishment for any corruption. Judges and employees of the Supreme Court voluntarily and fully cooperate with the investigation," Luspenchyk said.
It was a "dark day in the history of the court," Luspenchyk added.
Ukrainian news outlet ZN.UA, citing its source at the NABU, reported on May 15 that Kniaziev had allegedly received money for supporting a court ruling in favor of Ukrainian oligarch Kostiantyn Zhevago.
Zhevago's press service has since denied the accusation.
"(Zhevago) has nothing to do with the situation of alleged bribery by the Chief Justice or Supreme Court judges," Zhevago's press service said.
The Supreme Court has considered the case on Zhevago's ownership of 40.19% of Poltava Mining and Processing Plant, part of the Ferrexpo group, ruling to allow Zhevago to keep the shares.
On Feb. 2, Ukraine's Security Service (SBU) reported that the plant's chief accountant had been charged with tax evasion and forgery.
According to the investigation, in 2018-2021, the suspect entered false information into the company's documents, which helped it to avoid paying Hr 2 billion ($54.6 million) in rent payments to the state budget for the use of an iron ore deposit.
During the press briefing on May 16, NABU head Semen Kryvonos confirmed that Zhevago was involved with the bribery case.