Ukraine Supreme Court Head Arrested on Corruption Charges

LVIV, UKRAINE - MAY 12: The flag of Ukraine flies on the grave of a Ukrainian soldier duri
Stanislav Ivanov/Global Images Ukraine via Getty Images

The head of Ukraine’s supreme court has been detained on corruption charges, reports on Wednesday have claimed.

Vsevolod Kniaziev, the Ukrainian judge who heads up the country’s Supreme Court, has reportedly been detained by authorities on suspicions of corruption.

The official is the latest to be targeted in an ongoing purge by the Zelensky administration, which has continually arrested officials and banned political parties since the beginning of Russia’s invasion of the country.

According to a report by The Guardian, anti-corruption authorities operating in the country had detained the Supreme Court leader in relation to bribery charges.

Overall, authorities claim that the senior judge may have accepted as much as $2.7m as part of a single bribe.

“At this time, the head of the supreme court has been detained and measures are being taken to check other individuals for involvement in criminal activity,” Ukrainian prosecutor Oleksandr Omelchenko said, listing Kniaziev not by his name but by his job description.

Meanwhile, the National Anti-corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) emphasised that the arrest proved they were taking corruption in the country seriously, with not even those at the highest level of power being immune from being held accountable.

“We are showing through real cases, real deeds, what our priority is: it’s top corruption, it’s criminal organisations at the highest levels of power,” it said.

Speculating on the arrest, The Guardian noted that clamping down on corruption has been an important goal for the Ukrainians in their efforts to join the European Union.

Part of those efforts have also been a de-Russification of Ukraine in the wake of the invasion, with 11 opposition parties — including the largest opposition party, perceived as being too pro-Russian — banned by decree for the duration of the period of martial law. The leader of Ukraine’s main opposition party was arrested before the war even began, accused of passing military secrets to Russia.

Not all parties banned were pro-Russian, however. German analysis of the decree found that some were instead classified as ‘anti-Liberal’, or were sceptical of the European Union.

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