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23.04.19 13:24

PrivatBank's nationalization: Judges of Kyiv's District Administrative Court under pressure

Judges of Kyiv's District Administrative Court, who issued a ruling in the case on the nationalization of PrivatBank, have appealed to the High Council of Justice (HCJ), the Prosecutor General's Office (PGO) and the State Bureau of Investigations (SBI) with statements regarding interference in their activities.

PrivatBank's nationalization: Judges of Kyiv's District Administrative Court under pressure

Censor.NET reports citing court's press service.

"Judges from a panel who made the decision in the case on the nationalization of PrivatBank appealed to the chairman of the High Council of Justice with statements regarding interference in their activities, as well as to the heads of the Prosecutor's Office of Ukraine and the State Bureau of Investigations with statements on the commission of a criminal offense subject to review in accordance with the requirements of the Criminal Procedural Code of Ukraine," the report reads.

In particular, it notes, "judges ask for a pretrial investigation to be launched against the head of state, the justice minister and the NBU governor by including respective information in the single register of pretrial investigations, following which the perpetrators will be brought to justice."

Judges said in their statements that the state leadership, when commenting on their decision to recognize the nationalization of PrivatBank as illegal, "made statements that pose a direct threat to the Ukrainian judicial system and encroach on its independence and impartiality."

"Analyzing these statements, they consider it reasonable to assert that such obviously high-profile actions of the president of Ukraine, the governor of the National Bank of Ukraine and the justice minister of Ukraine were committed in order to exert pressure on the composition of the court considering case No. 826/7432/17 and they have signs of committing a crime envisaged in Part 2 of Article 376 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine, namely, interference in any form with the activities of a judge in order to hinder the performance of his or her duties or to get the adoption of an illegitimate decision, committed by a person through abuse of office," the report reads.

In addition, judges of the panel are convinced that the actions of the authorities constitute a crime provided for in Part 1 of Article 109 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine, as they are actually aimed at usurping the judicial branch of power, establishing total control over it in order to subordinate it to their own will, which directly contradicts the principles enshrined in the Constitution of Ukraine.

According to the judges, "the statements of top officials were also directed at appeals to the High Qualification Commission of Judges of Ukraine (HQCJ) without legal grounds for this because they were not legally authorized to do so, in order to encourage such a state body to take concrete actions."

"The judges consider that these actions have signs of a crime stipulated in Part 2 of Article 344 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine, in particular, the illegal influence in any form on the head or member of the HQCJ in order to prevent them from performing their official duties or achieve the adoption of illegal decisions, committed by a person through abuse of office," the court said.

Judges also consider that when commenting on the judges 'decision, the executive and legislative branches of power have to avoid criticism that may undermine the independence of the judiciary or the public's confidence in it, as well as avoid actions that may cast doubt on their desire to comply with decisions by judges when they intend to file an appeal.

In their statements to the HCJ, the judges ask for real measures to be taken to ensure their protection against arbitrary and unlawful actions of the state leadership and to prevent the repetition of such cases in the future by appealing to the SBI with a statement on a crime committed by President Petro Poroshenko, Justice Minister Pavlo Petrenko and NBU Governor Yakiv Smolii, as well as to raise in parliament the issue of initiating the procedure for impeachment of the current president.

In addition, the report notes, judges asked the HCJ to apply to the HQCJ regarding the inadmissibility of conducting an assessment of judges of Kyiv's District Administrative Court due to the current conflict of interest in connection with a direct criminal instruction by President Petro Poroshenko to restart this court.

On April 18, 2019, Kyiv's District Administrative Court, having considered at a court session the case on a lawsuit filed by businessman Ihor Kolomoisky to the NBU, the Cabinet of Ministers, the Deposit Guarantee Fund and the National Commission on Securities and the Stock Market, ruled that the nationalization of PrivatBank was illegal. The consideration of this case lasted from June 2017.

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