Head of NACP Oleksandr Novikov drew up administrative reports on judges of the Constitutional Court Moysyk, Slidenko and Zavhorodnia. If the protocols were not drawn up, it would be a violation of the law
On February 1, the Head of the National Agency on Corruption Prevention (NACP) Oleksandr Novikov drew up administrative offense reports against judges of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine (CCU) Volodymyr Moysyk, Ihor Slidenko, and Iryna Zavhorodnia.
“Equality of citizens before the law is a basic standard enshrined in the Constitution of Ukraine and the main principle of the NACP. If we did not draw up these protocols, this could be seen as official negligence, which we could not allow to happen,” said the Head of the NACP.
He highlighted that all three judges acted in a conflict of interest taking part in the consideration of the decision on e-declaration, which contains signs of an administrative offense. He also noted that due to the latest amendments to the law, only the Head of NACP and his deputies can draw up protocols on judges.
“As of December 31, 2020, there are amendments to the Code of Ukraine on Administrative Offenses (ed. – Code of Administrative Offenses), which state that only the NACP Head or his deputy can draw up an administrative offense to the judge. Today we sent the protocols to the CCU to fulfill this norm of the law,” Oleksandr Novikov added.
He also stressed that the Code of Administrative Offenses provides that an administrative penalty may be imposed by a court only within 6 months from the date of detection of the violation. Therefore, the NACP had to draw up reports shortly after the restoration of powers, because about 3 months have passed since the commission of the offense (from October 27, 2020).
What were the grounds for drawing up the protocols?
As the NACP previously reported, before considering the decision on the e-declaration system, the Agency drew up administrative protocols for two judges of the CCU Volodymyr Moysyk and Ihor Slidenko. These judges did not report significant changes in property status on time.
As of October 27, 2020, the Holosiivskyi District Court of Kyiv has already assigned judges to the cases of the CCU. However, the court session happened after that date.
Following the trial, the court closed the cases of Volodymyr Moysyk and Ihor Slidenko, due to the fact that the CCU recognized the provisions of the law, which established administrative liability for such violations related to corruption, as unconstitutional.
If convicted, they could be fined 100-200 non-taxable minimum incomes (UAH 1,700-3,400 or about $60-120), and the data on their violation could be entered in the Unified State Register of Persons Who Have Committed Corruption or Corruption-related Offenses.
Thus, during the decision-making, the judges acted in a conflict of interest, which is a violation of Article 172-7 of the Code of Administrative Offenses of Ukraine.
Signs of a conflict of interest can also be seen in the actions of Judge Iryna Zavhorodnia. Thus, prior to the decision of the CCU, the NACP found that on her declarations for 2018 and 2019 the judge stated unreliable information on the property that cost over UAH 600,000 ($21,000). In particular, the judge did not declare the Land Rover belonging to her husband.
This could be classified as a criminal violation under Article 366-1 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine, which the CCU ruled unconstitutional. This information was submitted to the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU). However, due to the decision of the CCU, the NABU had to close the proceeding.
During the closure of the relevant proceedings, the NAPC drew up a second administrative report against a judge for violation of financial control (Articles 172–6 of the Code of Administrative Offenses), pursuant to Article 38 of the Code of Administrative Offenses. This article stipulates that in case of closure of criminal proceedings, but in the presence of signs of an administrative offense in the actions of the violator, an administrative penalty may be imposed no later than three months from the date of the decision to close criminal proceedings.
The protocols will be handed over to the court, as only a court can find a person guilty of committing an administrative violation related to corruption.