Judges of appeal courts of economic jurisdiction: analysis by CHESNO. Filter the Judiciary!

CHESNO. Filter the Judiciary! campaign has conducted a comprehensive analysis of the judges of the appellate courts of economic jurisdiction. These are judges of such seven courts: the Kyiv Economic Court of Appeal, the Odessa Economic Court of Appeal, the Rivne Economic Court of Appeal, the Dnipro Economic Court of Appeal, the Lviv Economic Court of Appeal, the Donetsk Economic Court of Appeal, the Kharkiv Economic Court of Appeal.

Project analysts have formed 165 profiles of judges of these courts, which can be found on our website. Of the 165 judges, 70 do not meet the criteria for integrity, which were developed by our campaign. This means that almost 43% of judges are disingenuous according to the CHESNO. Filter the Judiciary! methodology.

In particular:

9 judges involved in making dubious decisions;

61 judges violated state transparency criteria;

7 judges do not meet the criteria for ethical behavior;

1 judge violated human rights;

1 judge involved in criminal offenses.

So, among the judges who violated the criterion of non-participation in making dubious decisions is Alla Tyshchenko, judge of the Kyiv Economic Court of Appeal, who, being part of the board, made the decision regarding leaving unchanged the decision of the Economic Court of Kyiv refusing to recognize the decisions of the Kyiv City Council as invalid transfer of land plot on vul. Gonchara, 17-23 in Shevchenkivsky district of Kyiv for the construction of a residential complex with public premises and built-in parking. According to Ukrainska Pravda, this construction is scandalous and takes place almost close to the walls of the St. Sophia Cathedral, which is an issue of concern for UNESCO.

This criterion was also violated by the judges of the Donetsk Economic Court of Appeal of Sghara Ella, Heza Taisiia and Duchal Nataliia. It was they who, as part of the board, issued a decision, which annulled the decision of the court of first instance and refused the State Azov Sea Ecological Inspectorate to satisfy the claims to company Konkrit-Beton for the recovery of damage as a result of land clogging in the amount of UAH 18,94036.50.

However, in the future, the Supreme Court overturned the said decision of the Donetsk Economic Court of Appeal and collected money from Konkrit-Beton for the damage caused by unauthorized clogging with construction, industrial and other wastes of a part of the land plot.

The judge of the Lviv Economic Court of Appeal Oksana Zvarych, the wife of the notorious bribetaker judge Zvarych, was involved in the criterion of “unethical behavior” among others. According to Ukrainska Pravda, in April 2009, the Prosecutor General’s Office appealed to the Council of Judges with a request to deprive Oksana Zvarych, the wife of the former head of the Lviv Appeal Administrative Court Ihor Zvarych. The reason for the appeal was the notebook found on December 3, 2008 during searches in one of Ihor Zvarych’s apartments, which recorded all the decisions of the judges of the Lviv Appeals Administrative Court, as well as the amount of bribes received for making some of them. According to the website Gazeta.ua, citing a source in the General Prosecutor’s Office of Ukraine, during the investigation, a graphological examination was allegedly carried out, which confirmed the assumptions of the investigation that Igor Zvarych’s wife was recording.

Oksana Zvarych’s colleague, Vira Grytsiv, also violated this criterion. In the conclusion of the Public Council of Virtue, it is noted that on 12/10/2012 the judge’s people, Mikhail Gartsev (at that time a judge of the Supreme Court of Ukraine), along with three family members received a service apartment with an area of 128.9 square meters, located in Kyiv on the Dniprovska Naberezhna.

Note that the judge Grytsiv, has been a judge of the Lviv Economic Court of Appeal since 2011. According to the declaration of kinship of the judge for 2011-2015, Grytsiv, the judge’s daughter was employed in the Lviv Regional Administrative Court from 2010 to 2016. Since 2008, her son has been employed in the Sykhiv district prosecutor’s office of Lviv and the Prosecutor’s Office of the Lviv region. However, all of them have Kyiv as their registered place of residence. According to Public Council of Virtue, the reason for such registration is probably an artificial creation of the necessary conditions for obtaining a large-area corporate apartment.

As stated in the conclusion of the Public Council of Virtue, for three months this apartment was excluded from service and privatized by judge Grytsiv Vira, her husband and two adult children. Thus, the judge, by her actions, cannot transfer the above apartment to other government employees, who demand office housing, after Grytsiv was dismissed as a judge, and in fact used her official position for personal purposes.

We can find a judge of the Kyiv Economic Court of Appeal Olena Kopytova in the criterion of “involvement in criminal offenses”. According to Nashi Hroshi website, since 2014, the Main Investigation Department of the General Prosecutor’s Office of Ukraine has been investigating the fact that the judges of the Economic Court of Kyiv, the Kyiv Economic Court of Appeal and the Supreme Economic Court of Ukraine in 2010-2012 have made a number of deliberately unjust decisions under consideration cases related to the bankruptcy of VAT Hotel Slavutych in Kyiv, and upon the fact of taking possession by officials of TOV Stalkon M of the integral property complex of the hotel.

According to Nashi Hroshi website and the register of court decisions, representatives of the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine in 2016 applied to the Pechersky District Court of Kyiv with a petition for the application of a measure of restraint in the form of a pledge in relation to judge Kopytova in connection with the suspicion of making a deliberately unjust decision to initiate bankruptcy proceedings of VAT Hotel Slavutych. However, Pechersky District Court of Kyiv refused to take preventive measure against Kopytov due to the fact that Kopytova did not receive the status of a suspect, which makes it impossible to take any measures against her.

Under the “violation of human rights” criterion, the judge of the Rivne Economic Court of Appeal Viktoriia Kolomys also does not meet the virtue criterion. According to Volynski Novyny, judge Kolomys, considering the case on the Zavokzalny market of Lutsk, allegedly did not allow some journalists, businessmen and a deputy to attend the court hearing.

The CHESNO movement collects information according to its own methodology from publicly available sources and does not state that a person has committed an offense or their culpability. CHESNO’s conclusions on the immorality of judges are value judgments, which may not coincide with the official decisions and conclusions of state bodies.