Ukraine’s supreme court chief justice suspected of high-profile corruption case
The chief justice of Ukraine’s supreme court was detained late on Monday in a high-profile corruption case linked to businessman Kostyantyn Zhevago, Ukraine’s national anti-corruption bureau, NABU, revealed today.
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Semen Kryvonos, NABU’s chief, told a briefing that Mr Zhevago, the owner of the Finance and Credit group, allegedly colluded with the head of a law firm to "transfer an undue benefit in favour of high-ranking court officials to make a decision that this entrepreneur needed" in the case regarding Poltava Mining, a mining and processing plant.
While the investigation is still ongoing and no one has been served with suspicions, two people have already been detained, including Vsevolod Kniaziev, who chairs the supreme court.
"On 3 May, the first part of this unlawful benefit was received, and on 15 May, that is, yesterday, the second part was transferred. The court leadership was caught red-handed," Mr Kryvonos said.
A law enforcement source told LIGA.net that Mr Kniaziev and the other person were detained while receiving a USD 2.7 million bribe.
Mr Zhevago’s press service categorically denies his involvement with the situation around the supreme court.
"The information provided by some media outlets that Mr Zhevago could have received undue benefits from people acting in the interests of the businessman is completely false," it said in a statement to the media. "Kostyantyn Zhevago has never given and could not give such instructions to anyone."
In the statement, the businessman’s press service dubbs as "unfounded" claims that he was interested in influencing the supreme court’s decision last month confirming that the acquisition of Poltava Mining by Ferrexpo, partially owned by Mr Zhevago, in 2002 was legal.
"The supreme court announced a legally verified decision. The attempt by dubious offshore companies linked to the US and European sanctions lists, including Russian citizens, to take over a large industrial asset was stopped."
"We are interested in a transparent investigation of this case to remove all suspicions and confirm our reputation in Ukraine and among foreign partners."