Investigations and judges: October 2018

Despite the great scope of the judicial reform, one of the main slogans of which is the cleansing of corrupt judges, the issue of exposing current judges to criminal offenses, including bribes, remains relevant to the media. CHESNO.Filter the court! continues the monthly digest of investigations and litigation on corrupt judges.

In October 2018, the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine, under the procedural guidance of the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office, made two indictments against judges.

Such information was received from the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine in response to our request.

Such accused was Novak Andrii, the acting judge of the Holosiivsky District Court of Kyiv (as well as Bilyk Oleksandr, the former judge of this court), who was accused of obtaining unlawful benefits. In addition, according to the second indictment, Popovych Iryna, the judge of the Economic Court of Kharkiv Oblast is accused of declaring false information about property belonging to her.

According to the investigation, Judge Novak Andrii demanded and received from the intermediary the funds for the satisfaction of a civil suit in favor of the plaintiff to resume his work and pay him compensation in the amount of 1.5 million UAH. Judge assessed his “services” at 8,000 USD, which was transmitted to him in three parts.

At the same time, another judge – Popovych Iryna, according to the investigation, filed in the declaration for 2015, deliberately unreliable information about the property that was in use by her and her family members in 2015, and was also registered for the legal entity in which the member the family of the judge had a significant share of corporate rights. The total amount of undeclared assets is 3,667,006 UAH. In particular, it is a question of two apartments and parking lot in Kharkiv, a land plot, house with adjacent household buildings in Kharkiv oblast worth over 1.2 million UAH and an expensive car.

As of the date of publication, the judges are not detained and continue to conduct legal proceedings, despite the existence of criminal proceedings against them.

However, in October, the Supreme Council of Justice adopted one decision on temporary removal and three decisions to extend the suspension of judges in connection with prosecution. The petition for their temporary removal was also filed by the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office.

In particular, in October, the Supreme Council of Justice temporarily dismissed Zhyvtsova Olena, Acting Head of the Kalanchatsky Regional Court of Kherson oblast, whom NABU suspects in obtaining an unlawful benefit for failing to make a decision to bring the person to administrative liability.

In addition, the Supreme Council of Justice has decided to extend the term of temporary suspension:

Ozerov Vitalii, the judge of the Starobilsk Regional Court of Lugansk oblast, who is suspected of obtaining an unlawful benefit for not bringing the driver to administrative responsibility for driving in the state of alcoholic intoxication;

Necheporenko Leonid, judge of the Rokytnya Regional Court of the Kyiv oblast, whom the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine suspects in obtaining unlawful benefit for not bringing a citizen to administrative liability.

Ponomarenko Volodymyr, Judge of the Court of Appeal of Cherkassy oblast, who, according to law enforcement officers, allegedly demanded and received money from a local citizen to influence judges of one of the district courts of Cherkasy oblast