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Ukraine’s Supreme Court Chairman Vsevolod Kniaziev was detained after being caught receiving a bribe of about $3 million, Ukrainian media outlet Ukrainska Pravda reported on May 15, citing sources in law enforcement.
The National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU) and the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office (SAPO) confirmed they had exposed a "large-scale corruption scheme in the Supreme Court" carried out by the court’s leadership and judges.
The anti-corruption authorities didn’t specify the suspects’ names and the bribe amount. The NABU and SAPO said the details would follow as the investigation is ongoing.
Kniaziev has chaired the Supreme Court since Dec. 1, 2021.
Ukrainian news outlet ZN.UA wrote, citing its source in NABU, that Kniaziev was receiving money from people supporting the court's decision in favor of Ukrainian billionaire Kostyantyn Zhevago.
The Supreme Court 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 the subsoil of the iron ore deposit.
Zhevago is the owner of the iron pellet producer Ferrexpo.