Ukraine Judge Embroiled In Bribe Scandal

Ukraine judge embroiled in bribe scandal

KIEV,(APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 10th Augst,2016) - A judge who served under Ukraine's ousted Russian-backed president has been caught accepting large bribes, with the cash kept in a glass jar, the chief anti-corruption prosecutor said Wednesday. The announcement comes one month after Ukraine launched an anti-corruption bureau aimed at breathing new life into its fight against graft, an endemic problem that has concerned Western allies and been a factor behind the delayed release of IMF aid. Mykola Chaus, a judge from Kiev's Dniprovskiy district court, was busted by detectives from the bureau Tuesday while accepting a $150,000 (134,000-euro) payment from an unnamed figure, prosecutor Nazar Kholodnytskiy wrote on Facebook. But Chaus cannot be detained due to his immunity from prosecution, Kholodnytskiy added. "Physical evidence was seized at the scene of the bribe transfer," he said. "This is how some 'servants of Themis' store their corrupt revenues," he added in reference to a Greek mythical figure who represents justice, with a picture of the glass jar full of cash next to the post.

Kholodnytskiy said the alleged crimes were punishable by between eight to 12 years. "But the judge can not be detained nor taken into custody because of the judicial immunity he enjoys according to the constitution," Kholodnytskiy wrote. He called on Ukraine's lawmakers, who are currently on summer recess, to overturn "the old legal system, which cannot stop helping the 'untouchables'." Mustafa Nayyem, a lawmaker who spearheaded Ukraine's 2014 pro-EU revolution, called Chaus "a legendary judge", saying he often worked on some of the most sensitive cases under ousted president Viktor Yanukovych. Chaus "could obviously tell us a lot about the way the courts are controlled (by the authorities) today", Nayyem wrote. Critics have accused Chaus of launching politically-charged cases against those who backed the 2014 revolution, and covering up the alleged crimes of the allies of one of Ukraine's most powerful tycoons, Igor Kolomoyskiy.