Judge Pidpaliy, who gave access to mobile phone calls and SMS of journalist Sedletska, is a profile from CHESNO. Filter the Judiciary!

Vyacheslav Pidpaliy, judge of the Pechersky District Court of Kyiv, who has issued an order for the temporary access to mobile calls and SMS messages of Nataliia Sedletska, the head of the “Schemes: Corruption in Detail” journalistic investigations program, according to CHESNO. Filter the Judiciary!, turned out to be unconscientious.

He violated three of the five criteria of integrity used by the campaign CHESNO. Filter the Judiciary! Namely, the criteria of involvement in corruption, making dubious decisions and unethical behavior. The methodology for testing the integrity of judges and the formation of profiles of judges can be found here.

In particular, according to the Ukrainska Pravda, the General Prosecutor’s Office of Ukraine carried out a pre-trial investigation in the criminal proceedings on the fact that Judge Pidpaliy deliberately issued an order to cancel the arrest of the property of the suspect Arbuzov S.G. and Arbuzova I.A. on the grounds of a criminal offense under Part 1 of Article 375 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine.

Judge Pidpaliy also issued at least three dubious decisions, including regarding the head of the Investigative Journalism Program “Schemes: Corruption in Detail”, Nataliia Sedletska.

In addition, judge Vyacheslav Pidpaliy forbade the people’s deputy Yury Levchenko to videotap the court session. He also did not allow journalists and public activists into the courtroom during the consideration of the petition to elect a preventive measure to Anatoly Voitsekhovsky and did not ensure an open court hearing of the petition.

To recap, according to the Unified State Register of Judicial Decisions, on August 27, 2018 judge Pidpalyi issued an order on temporary access to mobile calls and SMS messages of Nataliia Sedletska, the head of the Investigative Journalism Program “Schemes: Corruption in Detail”. The permission was given as part of the criminal proceedings on the possible disclosure of secrets of the investigation by Artem Sytnik, the director of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau, which was initiated by the GPU as a result of Sytnik’s communication with the journalists of the Schemes program.

According to Radio Liberty, on September 18, 2018 the European Court of Human Rights passed the decision to apply the Rule 39 of its Regulation and indicated to the Government of Ukraine that it must ensure that the authorities do not have access to any data cited in the decision of the investigating judge of the Pechersky District Court Of Kyiv. In addition, the Kyiv Court of Appeal partially satisfied the complaint of Nataliia Sedletska and overturned the said decision of Judge Pidpaly. The court also decided to make a new decision, which limited the list of data that the investigator can receive from a mobile journalist. Thus, the court allowed the operator to obtain the date, time and location of the Sedletska phone for 17 months as part of the operation of certain base stations near the National Anti-Corruption Bureau.