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New composition of High Qualification Commission of Judges elected

Among the members is a former judge who closed more than 50 drink driving cases

New composition of High Qualification Commission of Judges elected

The High Council of Justice has elected a new composition of the High Qualification Commission of Judges.

Now the HQCJ has to select about 2,500 new judges and certify another 2,000, which means that it will actually renew the corps of judges for years to come. This was reported by the Anti-Corruption Action Centre.

"On the one hand, Lyudmyla Volkova, to whom we had a lot of questions, was appointed to the HQCJ. On the other hand, 'agents of change' who will be able to influence very important decisions have become members of the HQCJ," the AntAC noted.

The full composition of the HQCJ:

Volkova Lyudmyla

Vitaliy Hatselyuk

Dukh Yaroslav

Kobetska Nadiya

Melnyk Ruslan

Pasichnyk Andriy

Sabodash Roman

Sidorovych Ruslan

Bohonis Mykhaylo

Ihnatov Roman

Kydysyuk Roman

Koliush Oleh

Volodymyr Luhanskyy

Omelyan Oleksiy

Chumak Serhiy

Shevchuk Halyna

Volkova, mentioned by the activists, was not honest during the interview with the HCJ, according to DEJURE Foundation activists. In 2015, the so-called tapes of Babenko, the head of the Cherkasy Region Court of Appeal, who threatened another judge of the same court, Serhiy Bondarenko, were made public. Bondarenko did not make the decision demanded by Babenko in the case concerning the premises of Dmytro Firtash's Azot plant.

"Volkova, as a member of the Council of Judges, was part of a working group that examined Judge Bondarenko's appeal about pressure on him and found no violations in the actions of the court's chairman Babenko," the activists reminded.

During the interview, Volkova was asked about this case, and she said that she had allegedly had a long personal conversation with judge Bondarenko, and he himself agreed with the commission's conclusion.

"However, the secret came out too quickly for Volkova. Since the interviews with HQCJ candidates are broadcast online, Serhiy Bondarenko himself watched them. He confirmed that indeed such a conversation took place, but... Volkova lied about its essence, according to him. He claims that judge Volkova conveyed to him the wishes of the head of the court, Babenko, and offered to apologise and withdraw the complaints so that Bondarenko could continue to work in the court. When Volkova refused, the commission simply prepared a conclusion that there was no pressure on the judge," DEJURE noted.

They added that the HQCJ did not include any representatives of specialised NGOs. In addition to Volkova, there are also doubts about the integrity of Volodymyr Luhanskyy, who closed at least 54 cases of drunken driving (under Article 130 of the Code of Administrative Offences) after the expiration of the time limit.

A disciplinary proceeding was even drawn up against Luhanskyy for delaying one such case, but it was not considered because he resigned.

According to the activists, during the interview, Luhanskyy stated that he had written his resignation before the proceedings were opened due to family reasons. However, the proceedings against Luhanskyy were opened on 5 June 2020, and he submitted his resignation on the same day.

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