On June 14, the High Anti-Corruption Court (HACC) found the former judge of Kyiv's Dniprovsky District Court, Mykola Chaus, guilty of bribery and sentenced him to 10 years in prison with confiscation of property. The verdict was announced at a meeting of the HACC panel of judges.

The court also ruled that Mykola Chaus would be disqualified from holding judicial positions for three years. The former judge was detained in the courtroom.

“The court upheld the position of the SAPO prosecutor and found the person guilty of committing a crime under Part 4 of Article 368 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine (Acceptance of an offer, promise or receipt of an unlawful benefit by an official, combined with extortion),” the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office (SAPO) reported.

“The verdict can be challenged in an appeal procedure within 30 days from the day of its announcement by submitting an appeal to the Appeals Chamber of the VACS,” according to a SAPO post on Telegram.

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In August 2016, the National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU) announced that it had documented evidence that Judge Chaus had received a bribe of $150,000, some of which investigators found buried in his yard.

The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine agreed to his detention and prosecution. However, Chaus escaped. On August 16, 2016, the judge was put on the national wanted list and then  on the international wanted list. 

In February 2017, he was detained in Moldova. Detectives of the National Bureau filed a request to extradite the ex-judge to Ukraine. However, in April 2021, information emerged about an alleged abduction of Chaus (the SBU is investigating the criminal proceedings over this fact).

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Artem Shylo, who had also worked for the SBU, is being held for two months on Hr.30 million ($770,000) bail.

Chaus’ whereabouts were unknown until July 2021, when the former official was found in a village in the Vinnytsia region.

On August 3, NABU detectives detained Chaus at Feofaniya Hospital. The next day the HACC imposed an order of restraint on the former judge in the form of  round-the-clock house arrest.

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After his arrest in 2021, Open Democracy said that in court Chaus “claimed that the April kidnapping was part of a plan to kill him – though he claims he managed to escape, walking 50 kilometers before handing himself over to the SBU.”

At the time they added: “This intrigue over a former district judge could be the start of a much seedier story – and one that may involve heavyweights in the Ukrainian elite.”

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Comments ( 1)

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Thomas Bitner
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There needs to be a disproportionately harsh punishment for the offenders.

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