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Supreme Court Head Kniaziev charged with corruption

by The Kyiv Independent news desk May 16, 2023 11:28 PM 2 min read
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Ukraine's Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office (SAPO) reported charging Supreme Court Head Vsevolod Kniaziev with corruption on May 16.  

If convicted, Kniaziev may face up to 12 years in prison. He is accused of receiving a $1.8 million bribe in exchange for the court's decision favoring Ukrainian oligarch Kostiantyn Zhevago.

The total bribe is said to be $2.7 million.

The SAPO also charged a lawyer who "used to cover the criminal activity" conducted in the Supreme Court. He reportedly acted as an intermediate between Zhevago and the Supreme Court.

Ukrainian outlet Ukrainska Pravda wrote, citing its source in law enforcement, that the charged lawyer is Oleh Horetskyi.

According to the investigation, under the guise of attorney services and legal support, the criminal group members made deals with judges to rule in favor of their "clients" for a reward.

This scheme involves not only the Supreme Court but also "most courts on Ukraine's territory," the SAPO Head Oleksandr Klymenko said at a press briefing on May 16.

Investigations against other judges are currently ongoing.

Earlier the same day, Ukraine's Supreme Court voted to dismiss Kniaziev from his position. Kniaziev didn't lose his judicial privilege since the Supreme Council of Justice is the only body that can strip him of that status.

The new Chairman of the Supreme Court would be elected at a later date. Dmytro Luspenyk, the secretary of the Supreme Court's plenary sessions, was named acting head of the court due to having the longest tenure in office.

Kniaziev was detained by authorities on May 15 when he was taking a part of the bribe.

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Semen Kryvonos, the newly-appointed head of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU), has previously held jobs associated with anti-corruption reforms. Kryvonos was appointed as head of the NABU by the Cabinet of Ministers on March 6 after being selected from a shortlist of three peopl…
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