Vsevolod Kniaziev, the former head of Ukraine's Supreme Court, was found guilty by a court in Kyiv of illegally accepting a gift after it was revealed he was renting an apartment in an elite neighborhood of Kyiv for Hr 1,000 ($26) a month, the National Agency on Corruption Prevention (NACP) reported on Dec. 27.
Kniaziev was charged with accepting a $2.7 million bribe in May 2023. He was dismissed from his position through a vote of no confidence.
The National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) announced in August that Ukrainian oligarch Kostyantyn Zhevago is suspected of having bribed Kniaziev and other Supreme Court judges in exchange for a decision in his favor.
As a result of the Dec. 27 court ruling, Kniaziev was found guilty of surpassing the monetary limit of gifts while holding the position of a judge. According to anti-corruption laws, offering property for below-market-rate value can constitute a gift.
According to the apartment rental app Bird, listings of similar size to the 133-square-meter apartment in Kyiv's upscale Pechersk neighborhood that Kniaziev rented cost around $2,000 per month.
As punishment, the court in Kyiv confiscated a gift of Hr 906,600 ($24,000) from Kniaziev and issued a fine of Hr 2,550 ($68).
Ukraine's High Anti-Corruption Court ordered on Dec. 21 that Kniaziev remain in custody on the bribery charges and lowered his bail from Hr 27 million ($716,000) to Hr 20 million ($530,000). His bail was originally set at Hr 107.3 million ($2.9 million) in May but has since been reduced several times.