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Ukraine: 'Large-scale corruption' in Supreme Court reported

May 16, 2023

Ukrainian anti-corruption bodies said they exposed large-scale corruption in the Supreme Court. Local media reported that the president of the court was arrested.

Ukraine's Supreme Court
The leadership of the Supreme Court of Ukraine is accused of large-scale corruptionImage: Joe Klamar/AFP/Getty Images

Ukraine's National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) and the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office (SAPO) reported on alleged corruption in the country's Supreme Court on their social media accounts late on Monday.

"NABU and SAP have exposed large-scale corruption in the Supreme Court, in particular a scheme to obtain undue advantages by the leadership and judges of the Supreme Court," the anti-corruption bodies said on Facebook.

Who is alleged to have bribed whom, and why, was not clear from the statement. NABU and SAPO also published a photo of bundles of banknotes on a couch, saying they would release details later.

Vsevolod Kniaziev, President of the Ukrainian Supreme Court
Vsevolod Kniaziev, President of the Supreme Court of Ukraine, has been reportedly arrested on charges of multimillion-dollar bribesImage: Lev Radin/Pacific Press/picture alliance

Court's president reported to be arrested

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court announced an extraordinary meeting. "In connection with the events taking place around the President of the Supreme Court Vsevolod Kniaziev, an extraordinary meeting of the Plenum of the Supreme Court will be held on May 16, 2023," the court said on Facebook.

Ukrainian media reported that Kniaziev was caught receiving $3 million (€2.76 million) in bribes, and that other judges of the top judicial body were being raided.

Kniaziev was installed as chairman of the Supreme Court in October 2021.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has repeatedly promised a more determined fight against the culture of bribes that is widespread in the country.

Zelenskyy's main aim is to show that Ukraine is ready to negotiate for European Union membership.

The dpa news agency contributed to this report.

Edited by: Farah Bahgat

Dmytro Hubenko Dmytro covers stories in DW's newsroom from around the world with a particular focus on Ukraine.