We have already mentioned
how the HCJ has systematically persecuted judges who have shown their independence, namely those who have exposed corruption (including in the judiciary), allowed searches and other investigative actions against judges and civil servants, and resisted pressure. Interestingly, this was most evident during the competition for the Anti-Corruption Court (read the full text here
And one year after the start of the Anti-Corruption Court's work, there are already the first cases of illegal influence and pressure of the HCJ on judges through disciplinary proceedings.
Thus, on November 16, 2020, the Third Disciplinary Chamber of the HCJ prosecuted the investigating judge of the HACC Vira Mykhaylenko, and issued her a warning . This is the first time when disciplinary chambers of the HCJ have used a disciplinary sanction on a HACC judge.
However, judge Vira Mykhaylenko, in fact, was punished only for allowing
an in absentia investigation into Mykola Zlochevskyi, the scandalous Minister of Ecology during the Yanukovych-Azarov presidency, who had fled Ukraine in 2014. And it was done with lightning speed. A complaint from Zlochevskyi's defenders was received
in the second half of September, disciplinary proceedings were initiated in October, and a decision was made in mid-November.
Moreover, on November 27, 2020, the NABU reported
on the systemic illegal influence of the HCJ on the pre-trial investigation in cases regarding Zlochevskyi. The correspondence published by the NABU states that some members of the HCJ probably received bribes from attorneys and a judge of Solomyanskyi District Court for failing to bring this judge to justice according to the appeal of the NABU. The complaint was submitted due to the decision by which a judge of Solomyanskyi District Court set a two-month procedural term for detectives in order to conduct investigative actions in one of the cases against Zlochevskyi. It is interesting Mr. Zlochevskyi's attorney is head of the Kyiv Region Bar Council , who was previously the attorney of HCJ member Pavlo Grechkivskyi who has been accused of fraud
Next thing on the agenda of the HCJ is the consideration of two more disciplinary proceedings against HAAC judges Tymur Khamzin
and Andriy Bitsyuk
, which were initiated on the basis of appeals from attorneys of suspected KDAC judges. In particular, investigating judge Andriy Bitsyuk granted permission to extend the term of the pre-trial investigation into the case "KDAC's tape-recordings" and allowed searches of suspects, and Tymur Khamzin granted permission to search the apartment where the KDAC judge Volodymyr Keleberda lives.
It is very likely that there was some reason for opening of disciplinary proceedings against these judges, as the collected materials
of covert investigative (detective) actions in the case of "KDAC's tape-recordings" indicate the existence of systematic extrajudicial relations between KDAC judges and some members of the HCJ, including the organization by KDAC head Pavlo Vovk the submission of artificial appeals to the HCJ against judges who had made "inconvenient" decisions against him, opening or refusing to open disciplinary proceedings against necessary judges, and so on.
The effectiveness of the tactics of pressure on judges of the HACC due to opening of disciplinary proceedings against them is also evidenced by the fact that after opening the disciplinary case by the HCJ, judge Andriy Bitsyuk denied
the NABU the reconduction of Pavlo Vovk, who ignores written summonses to court meetings, and returned
to detectives the appeal on re-extension of term of the pre-trial investigation in case of "KDAC's tape-recordings".
Another example of interference in the HACC's work by the High Council of Justice is the actions ofHCJ member Oleksiy Malovatskyi, who was selected by the Congress of Advocates. He demanded to provide him with the materials of the court case, the consideration of which was not completed, which is directly prohibited
by the Law of Ukraine "On the High Council of Justice".
Judges of the HACC were forced to send an appeal
to the HCJ and the Prosecutor General regarding interference in their activities. Moreover, judges stated that actions of HCJ member Oleksiy Malovatskyi had signs of conflict of interest, as he was considering the appeal of the National Bar Association of Ukraine, of which he was a member.