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24.02.2007

“Ukraine doesn’t have independent monitoring of the level of offences committed by judges

   

The Verkhovna Rada gave its consent on Thursday (22 February) to the remand in custody of a judge from the Mykolaiv region suspected of bribe-taking. The judge himself is apparently in hiding.
According to official information, the Mykolaiv Regional Prosecutor launched a criminal investigation against Judge Oleh Pampura in spring last year. The criminal investigation unit established that the judge had extorted six thousand dollars from defendants in return for a promise of a lighter sentence. As the Chair of the Parliamentary Commentary on Justice Serhiy Kovalov stated, over the last five years Pampura may have received just less than fifty thousand dollars in bribes from local villagers in exchange for recognizing their right to shares in land. Kivalov called the consent given by parliament to the judge’s arrest “unprecedented”.
However expert from the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union Volodymyr Yavorsky in an interview to Deutsche Welle pointed out that last year a judge from the Ivano-Frankivsk region had in fact been convicted. He added that there was at present no independent monitoring of the level of offences committed by judges, however sociological surveys over recent years have pointed to a considerable level of corruption within the Ukrainian judiciary.

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