Ukraine Chief Justice, Who Was A Visitor at SCOTUS Final Month, Charged With Accepting $1.8 Million Bribe


When the Supreme Court docket hosts overseas dignitaries, the Chief Justice will typically acknowledge these visitors and prolong a welcome on behalf of the Court docket. (Dignitaries are normally seated within the first row of the general public part, proper behind the “bar.”). I attended oral argument on April 24. On the outset of the session, Chief Justice Roberts introduced that the Chief Justice of the Ukraine Supreme Court docket was in attendance, and welcomed him to the Court docket. On the time, I used to be honored by the jurist’s presence. It’s troublesome to fathom the best way to handle a justice system whereas your nation is at battle. (Our nation had combined outcomes with battle on the homefront, see Merryman and McCardle). And regardless of the entire difficulties again residence, he nonetheless discovered the time to come back to the USA. I hoped his go to would offer some assist for the rule of legislation again in Ukraine. Chief Justice Roberts then moved onto bar admissions, and I filed the Ukrainian Chief Justice’s go to in my reminiscence banks.

This night, the NY Instances reported that Chief Justice Vsevolod Knyazev was arrested on expenses of accepting a bribe.

The chief of Ukraine’s Supreme Court docket was formally arrested Thursday, as prosecutors indicated in a second day of hearings {that a} high-level corruption case was increasing to incorporate a wider circle of judges.

Prosecutors additionally accused a lawyer of performing as an middleman in paying a bribe to the chief justice, and stated that no less than three different judges of the courtroom had been discovered holding 1000’s of {dollars} in foreign money marked by investigators.

The chief justice, Vsevolod Knyazev, was apprehended simply after midnight Tuesday by officers of the Nationwide Anti-corruption Bureau of Ukraine, who searched his residence and workplace in simultaneous raids and stated they discovered massive sums of money in U.S. foreign money.

In movies of courtroom hearings Wednesday and Thursday, posted on the Excessive Anti-Corruption Court docket’s YouTube channel, Mr. Knyazev appeared within the courtroom sporting a shiny blue sweater and flanked by his attorneys. The Excessive Council of Justice on Thursday lifted his immunity from prosecution, opening the way in which for his formal arrest.

Mr. Knyazev has been charged with graft in a public workplace, and accused of accepting a bribe of $1.8 million to affect a case in favor of a Ukrainian oligarch, Kostyantyn Zhevago. A prosecutor stated Mr. Knyazev had despatched a message to the lawyer in early Could to separate the cash into no less than 14 separate baggage, and later despatched a message saying he had handed the cash to different judges.

The Anti-Corruption Court docket’s prosecutor, Oleksandr Omelchenko, informed the courtroom that officers had tracked the cost of the primary tranche of the bribe on Could 3, and raided Mr. Knyazev’s residence half an hour after a second tranche was handed over on Monday night.

The anti-corruption bureau had infiltrated the group making the bribe and marked the notes used within the cost. Officers found $1.8 million in money at Mr. Knyazev’s residence and workplace, however the prosecutor stated that not all of the bribe cash, totaling $2.7 million, had been recovered.

Barely every week after Knyazev was greeted so warmly by Chief Justice Roberts, he was soliciting a bribe, to be divided into 14 separate baggage.

There’s concern that this incident would tarnish the notion of the Ukrainian judiciary:

The case has shocked and dismayed members of Ukraine’s judiciary. Two Supreme Court docket judges in interviews lamented the harm to the status of the courtroom and the judiciary. They stated they labored via the evening and most of Tuesday to arrange a poll through which 140 of the 142 Supreme Court docket judges voted to take away Mr. Knyazev from his put up. The 2 judges spoke on situation of anonymity, due to their place as members of the courtroom.

Knyazev additionally met with Lawyer Normal Garland on his journey.

I am certain readers will attempt to make some smarmy connection between Knyazev and the USA Supreme Court docket’s legitimacy. I will not. I’m grateful that our federal judges have integrity and honesty, and these types of allegations could be unthinkable.



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