In the summer of 2019, the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine conducted searches of the premises of the District Administrative Court of Kyiv (DACK) and announced suspicion
of of Kyiv head Pavlo Vovk, his deputy Yevhen Ablov, DACK judge Igor Pogribnichenko, and judge of Suvorovskyi District Court of Odesa Ivan Shepitko. Law enforcement officers suspect judges of interfering in the work of the HCJ and the High Qualification Commission of Judges (HQCJ) and making deliberately unjust decisions. At the same time, the NABU published
audio recordings of judges' conversations in the office of DACK Chairman Pavlo Vovk.
In July 2020
, the NABU searched the court premises again . This time a notice of suspicion was handed over to seven judges of DACK. Namely: Pavlo Vovk, Yevgen Ablov, Igor Pogribnichenko, Volodymyr Keleberda, Igor Kachur, Bogdan Sanin and Oleksiy Ogurtsov. In addition to interfering in activities of the judiciary, attempts to seize state power, creation of a criminal organization and obtaining illegal benefits were added to the list of crimes in which judges are suspected.
Later, in September 2020, the NABU published new audio recordings from the office of the head of the DACK about judges' connections with HCJ members.
- Pavlo Grechkivskyi (selected in February 2019 by the Congress of Lawyers for second term in a row contrary to provisions of the Constitution of Ukraine)
The NABU recorded several conversations between DACK's head Pavlo Vovk and a member of the HCJ ( most likely Pavlo Grechkivskyi). For instance, in conversation on March 11, 2019 Vovk proposed to Grechkivskyi to form a "coalition" within the HCJ against the then head of the body Igor Benedysyuk, who was running for the position of judge on the Supreme Court and whose candidacy had to be considered by the HCJ. Vovk also repeatedly mentions Grechkivskyi in conversations with DACK judges as member of the HCJ, with whom he communicates about the consideration of disciplinary proceedings in the HCJ and allegedly agrees on certain decisions, the adoption of which Grechkivskyi then agrees with other members of the HCJ.
- Viktor Gryshchuk (selected in March 2019 by the Congress of Representatives of Law Universities)
Gryshchuk was delegated to the HCJ by the Lviv State University of Internal Affairs, within the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, although according to the Constitution, only law schools may participate in the congress. Gryshchuk's appointment to the HCJ was later appealed to the DACK. In one of the excerpts published by the NABU, the head of the DACK, Pavlo Vovk, assured Gryshchuk over the phone that he controlled the situation and guaranteed that he would continue to work as a member of the HCJ. Later, according to the decision
of the DACK judge Igor Pogribnichenko, the appeal against Gryshchuk's appointment was returned without consideration.
In the summer of 2020, Pavlo Vovk and Viktor Gryshchuk allegedly met with a potential candidate for membership on the HCJ, Oleg Omelchuk. Vovk also agreed with Gryshchuk that they would agree on Omelchuk's candidacy together with representatives of the Presidential Office.
- Oleg Prudyvus (selected in December 2018 at the scandalous congress of judges, the results of which were known in advance)
The NABU recorded several conversations between Pavlo Vovk and Oleg Prudyvus. They discussed the appointment of Mykola Sirosh to the HQCJ by the Commissioner for Human Rights Lyudmyla Denysova, whom, according to Vovk, he controls. During another conversation, Vovk informed Prudyvus that the DACK judges would sabotage the qualification assessment of judges.
In August 2019, when the HCJ was considering an appeal on the removal of Vovk in the case of interfering in the work of the Qualification Commission of Judges, the Prosecutor General's Office moved to disqualify Oleg Prudivus, citing his "at least friendly" HCJ member-judge relationship. And the HCJ supported
the aforementioned suspension, Prudyvus did not take part in voting then. Decisions of the HCJ which were most likely made under influence of DACK
According to tapes, during the conversation on July 23, 2019, Vovk together with another DACK judge prepared written instructions stating that the HCJ should refuse to initiate disciplinary proceedings against the DACK judge Anna Kuzmenko. The next day, the Third Disciplinary Chamber of the HCJ consisting of Andriy Ovsiyenko, Larysa Ivanova and Viktor Matviychuk refused
to initiate disciplinary proceedings against Judge Kuzmenko. The speaker in the case was HCJ member Larysa Shvetsova.
On March 23, 2019, Vovk and his deputy Ablov discussed the disciplinary case against Ablov. Vovk expressed concern about the speaker Tetyana Malashenkova. He told Ablov that Pavlo Grechkivskyi was discussing the case with other members of the Disciplinary Chamber, Igor Artemenko and Natalya Volkovytska. On April 8, the Disciplinary Chamber made the decision
to dismiss Ablov from his judgeship . However, on December 10, following the appointment of Malashenkova and Volkovytska to the Supreme Court, the HCJ unanimously cancelled the Disciplinary Chamber's decision
and saved Ablov's position.
Another example is the disciplinary case against a Supreme Court judge. On July 23, 2019, Vovk complained that HCJ member Mykola Khudyk did not open a disciplinary case against Rayisa Khanova. Finally, on 4 November, the HCJ Disciplinary Chamber refused to open a case against the judges, however, in accordance with the HCJ decision , speaker Mykola Khudyk advocated opening of the case against the judge.
Moreover, according to the NABU audio recordings, the HCJ did not punish DACK judges who ruled against the Revolution of Dignity, precisely because of the influence of Pavlo Vovk. Thus, during one of conversations with a judge of the Kyiv Administrative Court of Appeals, (now the Sixth Administrative Court of Appeals) Pavlo Vovk boasted that judges avoided responsibility precisely thanks to him.
The case of Bogdan Sanin is particularly noteworthy: if the HCJ agreed in decisions regarding other judges that the judges committed gross violations for which they should be dismissed, but due to the statute of limitations they could not make such decision, then in decision regarding Bogdan Sanin the HCJ did not admit violations that had been committed by a judge. Oleksiy Malovatskyi and Pavlo Grechkivskyi, who are among current members of the HCJ, voted for this decision.