The National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU) of Ukraine and the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office (SAPO) of Ukraine have announced major action taken against the country’s highest court in response to yet another large-scale corruption scandal that has emerged from Ukraine.
“NABU and SAP have exposed large-scale corruption in the Supreme Court, in particular a scheme to obtain undue advantages by the leadership and judges of the Supreme Court,” the anti-corruption bodies declared on Tuesday on their official social media channels. NABU and SAP have uncovered a scheme to obtain undue advantages by the leadership and judges of the Supreme Court. Given that this is the highest legal body in the land and the nation’s top judge, who is responsible for interpreting and upholding the law, it is an extremely embarrassing situation.
The oversight organizations have made the assertion that they have “documented the head of the Supreme Court receiving a $2.7 million bribe.” An anti-corruption official disclosed to a national news briefing that the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Vsevolod Knyazev, had been detained on suspicion of collecting bribes. This information was released by the anti-corruption official. During the search of the residence of the chief judge, the $2.7 million was discovered and taken.
“At this time, the head of the Supreme Court has been detained and measures are being taken to check other individuals for involvement in criminal activity,” a statement said further.
Knyazev, who held a position that was comparable to that of the Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, was eventually elected to the position in October of 2021. Since then, he has been dismissed from office when a special session of the other judges cast a vote of “no confidence” in him.
In addition, allegations that have surfaced in the Ukrainian media imply that further judges may be subject to raids and arrests as part of the ongoing investigation into corruption. According to new information that has surfaced in Ukrainian media sources, it appears as though this case is just the tip of the iceberg:
NABU Director Semen Kryvonos revealed that his bureau has documented a series of contacts between the owner of Finances and Credit Group, Kostiantyn Zhevaho, and one of the owners of an attorney group used to conceal criminal activities. These contacts involved an agreement regarding unlawful benefits in favor of high-ranking court officials for “rendering the necessary decision” in favor of the entrepreneur.
Businessman Zhevaho denies his involvement in the multimillion-dollar bribe, as stated in a press release issued by his spokesperson to Forbes.
“This is the most high-profile case during the tenure of NABU and SAP and the biggest exposure of a top-ranking official in the judicial branch of power,” said Kryvonos.
He said the suspects in the case also attempted to influence the appointment of members of the Higher Qualification Commission of Judges (VKKS), the body responsible for career-related matters within the judicial branch of power.
Over the course of the past several months, Ukraine, a country that routinely ranks among the most corrupt nations in the world, has been taking visible moves to combat the pervasive corruption that plagues the nation.
This comes as tens of billions of dollars in aid from American taxpayers continue to flow through Kiev’s coffers in the midst of the Russian invasion. Additionally, Blackrock, the largest manager of assets in the world, has reached a tentative agreement with President Zelensky to coordinate major reconstruction investment in the war-torn country.
The growing controversy involving the Supreme Court of Ukraine is not the first significant corruption disclosure to come to light since the beginning of the war, and it is highly doubtful that it will be the last.
At the beginning of this year, it was discovered that the highest-ranking members of Ukraine’s armed forces were involved in a massive scandal…
Ukraine Rocked By Corruption Scandal, Wave Of Top Officials Resign: Sports Cars, Mansions & Luxury Vacations As People Suffered https://t.co/5gvsXbIkNx
— zerohedge (@zerohedge) January 24, 2023