Head of Ukrainian Supreme Court arrested on corruption charges

May 18, 2023

Ukrainian politics received a shock this week after the head of that country's Supreme Court was arrested. 

According to the Guardian, Vsevolod Kniaziev was taken into custody as part of a wide-ranging anti-corruption investigation.

Judge accused of accepting $2.7 million bribe

Oleksandr Omelchenko serves as a prosecutor at Ukraine's Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office (SAPO), and he announced the arrest on Tuesday at a joint press conference with officials from the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU).

"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," Omelchenko was quoted as saying.

NABU chief Semen Kryvonos said the arrest came as a result of suspicions that Kniaziev had accepted a $2.7 million bribe.

"We are showing through real cases, real deeds, what our priority is: it’s top corruption, it’s criminal organizations at the highest levels of power," Kryvonos told reporters.

Ukraine among the world's more corrupt countries

He added that the bribe is believed to have been provided by businessman Konstiantyn Zhevago in exchange for a favorable ruling for the Finance and Credit financial group, a company that he owns.

The Guardian noted that Zhevago has denied taking part in corrupt dealings. Meanwhile, Ukraine's Supreme Court put out a statement of its own offering full cooperation in the investigation.

The Guardian reported in 2015 that Ukraine was widely regarded by international observers as being "the most corrupt nation in Europe."

Among the 180 countries listed on the Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index last year, was Ukraine as number 122. That put it lower than a number of nations in sub-Saharan Africa as well as some of its fellow former Soviet republics.

Opposition parties banned and monastery shut down

Corruption is not the only controversy in Ukrainian public life, as Breitbart reported last year that nearly a dozen opposition parties had been banned following a decree by President Volodymyr Zelensky. Meanwhile, religious tensions have been growing after Zelensky's government evicted Orthodox monks from a monastery in March.

"There are many new buildings there, and this is a UNESCO site, which do not have relevant documents and permits," Breitbart quoted Ukrainian Minister of Culture Oleksandr Tkachenko as saying.

"The legality of such new buildings also raises legitimate questions. The state must manage what belongs to it," he added.

" A free people [claim] their rights, as derived from the laws of nature."
Thomas Jefferson
© 2015 - 2024 Conservative Institute. All Rights Reserved.