According to the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office (SAPO), Ukrainian prosecutors have arrested the leader of Ukraine’s Supreme Court due to suspected participation in a bribery plot. The prosecutor, while providing information during the briefing, did not reveal the identity of the detained individual. It was mentioned that the head of the Supreme Court has not yet received an official notification of suspicion.
In light of recent exposés regarding widespread corruption within the Supreme Court, Ukrainian prosecutors have arrested the leader of Ukraine’s highest judicial institution. While the identity of the detained official was not disclosed, local media sources suggested that Chief Justice Vsevolod Kniaziev was taken into custody on suspicion of being involved in a $3 million bribery case. Reuters attempted to contact Mr. Kniaziev for a statement but was unsuccessful.
The apprehension comes in the wake of an announcement by the Anti-Corruption Bureau, conveyed through their Telegram and Facebook platforms, regarding their joint efforts with the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office in revealing substantial corruption within the Supreme Court. The investigation brought to light a bribery plot involving the court’s top officials and judges. Accompanying the bureau’s statement was a photograph exhibiting stacks of dollars meticulously arranged on a couch. Reuters acknowledged that it was unable to independently verify the authenticity of the photo.
According to local media reports, the arrest of Mr. Kniaziev has taken place, and it is anticipated that he will be formally served with a “notice of suspicion” within 24 hours of his detention. Ukrainian politician Oleksiy Goncharenko commented that this arrest marks the highest-ranking official in the history of the country to be captured on charges of bribery.
The battle against corruption in Ukraine has been a prerequisite for the country’s potential accession to the European Union, which consists of 27 member states. Despite making progress in addressing corruption in recent years, Ukraine currently holds the 116th position out of 180 countries on Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index.
In the Tuesday briefing, NABU director Semen Kryvonos highlighted the bureau’s dedication to combating corruption at the highest levels, emphasizing their focus on top-level corruption and criminal organizations within positions of authority through concrete actions and significant cases.
Last week, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) introduced a new aid package worth $1.2 billion for Ukraine. The purpose of the aid is to strengthen Ukraine’s air defense capabilities and address its artillery ammunition needs. This assistance from the United States is provided under the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI).