Zelensky legislatively initiates disbanding of Kyiv's District Administrative Court / Photo from UNIAN

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has tabled a priority bill in parliament to disband the District Administrative Court of Kyiv (DACK).

Read alsoAnti-graft agency busts two lawyers for bribe in court corruption schemeThe President's Office says there is no longer confidence in the DACK after "tape" scandals, corrupt officials with safes full of cash money, and numerous controversial decisions, as reported on the president's website.

"Today I am submitting to the parliament a bill on the liquidation of the District Administrative Court of Kyiv. The court, which has not been able to regain trust, but has managed to return scandals and strange decisions far from the concept of justice," Zelensky said.

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"Enough of safes full of millions of cash belonging to people linked with the leadership of the court. Enough of waiting for the next recordings of scandalous conversations from the offices of judges, who think they prevail over everything in our country. The court, one decision of which can put an end to any achievement of the state, any reform, will be liquidated. Take this as a signal to any court that has betrayed respect for the law," Zelensky said.

The President's Office stressed the old, inefficient judicial system is unable to meet Ukrainians' demand for justice, has lost the trust of the citizens of Ukraine and needs to be cleaned up.

Case targeting District Administrative Court of Kyiv (DACK) and judge Vovk

  • On July 17, 2020, searches were carried out at the DACK premises, as well as in the State Judicial Administration. National Anti-corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) detectives charged DACK Chairman Pavlo Vovk, his deputy Yevhen Ablov, five DACK judges, and Head of the State Judicial Administration Zenoviy Kholodniuk with setting up a criminal organization aimed to seize power.
  • According to the Special Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office, 11 persons led by Vovk acted as part of the criminal organization that aimed to seize state power by establishing control over the High Qualification Commission of Judges and the High Council of Justice, as well as hindering their work. Also, NABU made public the purported recordings of wiretapped conversations between the said judges.
  • On September 1, 2020, the High Council of Justice refused to suspend Vovk from office.
  • On November 3, 2020, NABU put Vovk on the wanted list.
  • Vovk failed six times to report to the High Anti-Corruption Court (HACC) hearing where bail was set to be considered. Judge Andriy Bitsiuk warranted NABU to forcefully bring the suspect to court, while an apparent legal collision prevented NABU detectives from doing so as judge Vovk enjoys judicial immunity.
  • On March 15, 2021, the HACC ruled to suspend hearings on the measure of restraint until the suspect is wanted.
  • On March 17, 2021, NABU completed the investigation into the DACK judges' case.