Authorities have identified four judges at the Kyiv Court of Appeal who were involved in a bribery case, where one of them proposed a bribe to the defendant in exchange for a favorable ruling.

The National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU), in cooperation with the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office (SAPO), uncovered the scheme involving $35,000 in bribes.

According to the NABU report, one judge proposed a bribe to one party in the case – presumably the defendant – to “satisfy the complaint regarding the cancellation of the seizure of the private company's property.”

According to the NABU report, the bribe exchange took place on Nov. 28, where the judge received $10,000 himself and transferred the remaining $25,000 in cash in a whisky box to his colleagues, divided between the three judges.

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Authorities have searched the judges’ addresses and seized the funds as part of the evidence. The judges have been named suspects in the corruption case.

The NABU has opened numerous corruption cases against officials and politicians in recent months, including two members of Ukraine’s parliament in a likely move to demonstrate Ukraine’s resolve to eradicate corruption.

The fight against corruption is a major requirement in Ukraine’s EU accession talks. While “some progress was made” according to a European Commission report published on Nov. 8, it also cited concerns and potential improvements in Ukraine’s anti-corruption efforts.

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“High-quality and corruption-free legal education and training of justice and law enforcement professionals are key to consolidating the rule of law and fulfilling EU membership obligations,” read the report.

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