The Verkhovna Rada's legal policy committee on Dec. 12 recommended approving a bill to liquidate the Kyiv District Administrative Court, headed by Ukraine's most scandalous judge Pavlo Vovk, Roman Babiy, a member of the committee, said on Facebook.
He said the bill would soon be considered by parliament.
The statement follows a decision by the U.S. Department of State on Dec. 9 to impose sanctions against Vovk. "The Department of State is designating Vovk for soliciting bribes in return for interfering in judicial and other public processes," the department said in a statement.
In December 2021 the Kyiv Independent urged the U.S. to sanction two top officials charged with corruption - Vovk and Oleh Tatarov, a deputy chief of staff for President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Vovk and his court have become symbols of injustice, lawlessness, and impunity in Ukraine. Cases against him have been blocked and sabotaged by prosecutors, investigators, and courts for several years.
Vovk and other judges of his court have been charged with usurpation of power, obstruction of justice, organized crime, and abuse of authority. Despite the charges, Vovk remains the head of his court.
In April 2021, Zelensky submitted the bill to liquidate Vovk's court to parliament and marked it as "urgent". However, the bill has been blocked for more than one and a half years by Zelensky's Servant of the People party, which holds an absolute majority in the Verkhovna Rada.
A law enforcement source has told Ukrainska Pravda, an online newspaper, that Vovk met Zelensky in 2019 and persuaded him that he would work as part of the president’s team. The President's Office has not commented on the accusations.
In 2019, Vovk and Zelensky’s ex-chief of staff Andriy Bohdan organized the dismissal of a Constitutional Court head, according to audiotapes published by Slidstvo.info investigative journalism project. Vovk also allegedly worked with Ruslan Riaboshapka, Zelensky’s former prosecutor general, to organize the dismissal of a Council of Judges chief in 2019, according to the tapes. Bohdan and Riaboshapka did not respond to requests for comment.