Prosecution seizes half a million dollars in Supreme Court bribery case

23 May, 11:28 PM
NABU and SAPO find almost half a million dollars more in Knyazev case during another search (Photo:NABU/SAPO/Telegram)

NABU and SAPO find almost half a million dollars more in Knyazev case during another search (Photo:NABU/SAPO/Telegram)

The National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) and the Specialized Anti-corruption Prosecutor’s Office (SAPO) have seized almost half a million dollars in cash while investigating the bribery case of the former head of Ukraine's Supreme Court Vsevolod Knyazev, NABU reported via Telegram on May 23.

The forensic search within the pretrial investigation on suspicion of receiving a $2.7 million bribe by Knyazev was conducted on May 22.

The perpetrators of massive corruption in the Supreme Court hid the cash, NABU said. The anti-corruption agencies are investigating its origin.

The Knyazev case

Ukrainian media reported on May 15 that the head of Ukraine’s Supreme Court, Vsevolod Knyazev, was suspected of taking a $2.7 million bribe.

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The SAPO later confirmed that Knyazev has been detained.

“This is the most high-profile case during the tenure of the NABU and SAPO and the biggest exposure of a top-ranking official in the judicial branch of government,” said NABU Director Semen Kryvonos.

Investigators recorded a series of contacts between the owner of Finance and Credit Banking Group, Kostiantyn Zhevaho, and a representative of a group of judges involved in a large-scale corruption scheme. They reportedly agreed on a bribe in exchange for “making the necessary decision” in Zhevaho’s favor.

This corruption ring were not limited to the Supreme Court, but extended to most Ukrainian courts as well, SAPO said.

Zhevaho has denied any accusations of bribery.

On May 16, the Supreme Court removed Knyazev from his leadership position, in a vote of no confidence.

Knyazev was elected as head of the Supreme Court in late October 2021. Prior to that, he served as a judge and secretary of the court since 2017.

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