Investigations and trials of judges: November 2018

Team CHESNO. Filter the court! continues to report on monthly litigation on judges who were convicted of corruption. Also, we do not leave aside the issue of the judges suspended by the Supreme Council of Justice from conducting legal proceedings, in connection with bringing them to criminal liability.

As appears on the official websites of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine and the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office, there is still a widespread tendency for judges to be accused of extortion or bribes for adoption of decision in litigation.

In November 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 to the court.

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

Such accused were Kovalenko Oleksandr, the former chairman of the Economic Court of the Sumy oblast, and Ozerov Vitalii, judge of the Starobilsk Regional Court of Lugansk oblast. Themides’ servants are accused of obtaining unlawful benefits for assistance in resolving court cases.

According to the investigation, judge Oleksandr Kovalenko demanded from the local businessman an unjustified benefit in the amount of 26,600 USD for the “solution” of the land dispute in the economic case. Another judge, Ozerov Vitalii, mentioned in the previous monthly digest, referring to the website “Slovo i dilo”, judge for not bringing a person to administrative liability for driving in the state of alcoholic intoxication was allegedly demanding 10 thousand UAH of unlawful benefits.

On December 28, 2017, the Supreme Council of Justice extended the term of suspension of judge Kovalenko Oleksandr up to February 28, 2018. As of the date of publication of the digest, the judge is not detached and continues to execute legal proceedings, despite the existence of a criminal proceeding against him.

The Supreme Council of Justice, on November 27, 2018, met the request of the Deputy Prosecutor General, the head of the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office, to temporarily dismiss the judge Ozerov Vitalii from the administration of justice to the entry into force of a court sentence or the closure of the criminal proceedings.

In addition, in November, the Supreme Council of Justice adopted three further decisions to temporarily suspend judges from exercising justice until they were legally enforced by a court sentence or closure of criminal proceedings.

In particular, in November, the Supreme Council of Justice temporarily withdrew, in addition to judge Ozerov Vitalii, also:

Novak Andrii, the acting judge of the Holosiivsky District Court of Kyiv, who is suspected by the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor of demanding and receiving unlawful benefits;

Moliboga Gennadii, former head of the Druzhkovska City Court of Donetsk Oblast, whom the National Anti-Critical Bureau of Ukraine suspects of extortion and the receipt of unlawful benefits;

Leonov Andrii, judge of the Babushkinsky District Court of the City of Dnipro, whom the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine suspects in extortion and the receipt of unlawful benefits.