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22.01.2009

Judges more and more often on the crime pages

   

Ukrainian judges are increasingly falling under the scrutiny of the law enforcement agencies. Following the scandal over the now former Head of the Lviv District Administrative Court of Appeal Ihor Zvarych, one of the judges of the Higher Economic Court has this week been the focus of attention.

The Prosecutor General’s Office is expressing concern over what it sees as excess powers and corruption among the judge corps.

Ihor Zvarych, who is presently on the police wanted list, has lodged two applications with the court. In one, the former judge appeals against the resolution of the Supreme Court to dismiss him, arguing that the court had not yet found him guilty of bribe-taking. The other applies for the Pechersky District Court in Kyiv to revoke its order for his detention and arrest. The former judge is applying from hiding, with the applications having arrived by post.

On 2 December 2008 the Prosecutor General’s Office launched a criminal investigation against the then Head of the Lviv District Administrative Court of Appeal Ihor Zvarych for taking bribes on a particularly large scale. During the search of his office and his flat, Security Service [SBU] officers removed 1 million USD and 2 million UAH. On the eve of the Verkhovna Rada vote on consent for the judge’s arrest, Zvarych disappeared from the private clinic he was in and is now in hidging.

The car a guttered wreck, the judge has vanished

In the last few days not far from Kyiv a car was found with a burned body inside. The car belonged to a judge of the Higher Economic Court. Experts are working to establish the identity of the dead man.

The Head of the Public Liaison Centre of the Kyiv Police Volodymyr Polishchuk told Radio Svoboda that the police are certain that the car is registered in the judge’s name. They have not been able to contact the judge, but are unable to comment as to the identity of the body until DNA tests have been carried out.

At a briefing on Thursday, the Deputy Prosecutor General Renat Kuzmin expressed concern over the situation with corruption within the Ukrainian judiciary.

Many experts consider that the situation has arisen because over recent years in Ukraine the requirements for judges have lowered.

Based on material at  Радіо Свобода

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