The National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) and Specialised Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office accused on Thursday four judges from the Kyiv Court of Appeal of graft totaling $35,000.
According to NABU, the payment occurred on Tuesday, November 28, 2023, when one of the accused judges was given $35,000 in exchange for a favorable judgment on an appeal of a property seizure order imposed on a private company in which the four judges were sitting. The judge who received the bribe allegedly kept $10,000 and gave $25,000 to be divided between his three other colleagues. During a search of the judges’ residences, state detectives allegedly found and seized the funds.
The judges have been charged under Article 368 and Article 28 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine. Article 368 relates to bribe-taking by an official, with normal bribes punishable by a fine or imprisonment for a term of two to five years and gross bribery punishable by imprisonment for a term of five to ten years. Article 28 deals with aggravating factors for crimes committed by a group of persons, a group of persons upon prior conspiracy, an organized group or a criminal organization. Ukrainian News cited law enforcement sources claiming that the four judges were Deputy Chairman of the Kiev Court of Appeal Viktor Hlynianyi, and Judges Yurii Slyva, Ihor Palenyk and Viacheslav Dziubin.
Corruption remains rampant in Ukraine, with lawmakers, judges and other officials having recently been charged. In 2022, Transparency International ranked Ukraine 116 out of 180 in terms of corruption.