Judge Chaus detained on bribery charges, hides money in glass jar (Photos)
Deputy Prosecutor General and chief of the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office Nazar Kholodnytskyi has revealed how notorious judge Mykola Chaus, who was detained on August 9 on bribery charges, was hiding reportedly stolen money, in a glass jar instead of depositing it in the bank.
"Material evidence has been seized from the site where the bribe was handed over – this is how some servants of Themis hoard their illegal income," Kholodnytskyi posted on Facebook on Wednesday.
The detention of the judge from Kyiv's Dniprovsky district court was announced by the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine on August 9. The judge was caught red-handed while accepting a US$150,000 bribe, which is about UAH 3.7 million.
Later, media reports said the detained judge was Mykola Chaus, who is known, among other things, as the judge who ordered the detention of UKROP Party leader Hennadiy Korban.
Court rules to remand UKROP leader Korban in custody for two monthsOn August 10, Kholodnytskyi confirmed that the detainee was Chaus.
Kholodnytskyi said the judge cannot, at present, be remanded into custody because he enjoys judicial immunity. The immunity can be repealed by parliament, which is, however, currently on holiday.
"Despite an evident crime falling under Part 4, Article 368 of the Criminal Code (accepting an offer, promise or receipt of undue rewards by an official), which provides for imprisonment for a term of 8-12 years with confiscation of property, the judge cannot be arrested and taken into custody as he enjoys judicial immunity under the Constitution," Kholodnytskyi wrote.
An official from the Ukrainian Justice Ministry did not also rule out the possibility that Chaus might escape punishment.
"Yes, it's possible. The Verkhovna Rada is on holiday, the Constitutional Court of Ukraine is on holiday, the High Council of Justice is on holiday, i.e. some state agencies do not perform their duties a priori," head of the Justice Ministry's lustration department Tetiana Kozachenko told TV Channel 112 Ukraine.
"Given that Chaus is already a notorious judge and many facts about him are known, these issues will now be under inspection and investigation by law enforcement agencies and look promising in court, which, with the existing evidence, will be able to pass a verdict if there are proven grounds," she added.