High Council of Justice approves continued custody for judge Knyazev; passports seized
The High Council of Justice gave permission to detain the ex-head of the Supreme Court Vsevolod Knyazev, reports public broadcaster Suspilne.
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This decision was supported by all 14 members of the HCJ. According to information from correspondents, Knyazev himself was also present at the meeting.
Together with the lawyers, he insisted on a closed hearing of the case, arguing that during the meeting, "most likely, data containing personal information, possibly data on members of the HCJ, and data containing state secrets will be disclosed." At the same time, prosecutors insisted on an open hearing.
The HCJ members left the room for a judicial conference, and after returning, none of the judges supported the request of the ex-head of the Supreme Court. The broadcast was also stopped by the decision of the HCJ.
According to the protocols and materials of the case, which were read out at the meeting, law enforcement officers found about $5,000 at Knyazev's home, and another part, more than $4,000, in the office of the Supreme Court.
Of the total bribe amount of $2.7 million, the investigators did not find the entire sum, but only $1.3 million. The whereabouts of the rest of the money has not been determined, the journalists write.
At the same time, the defense asked to take into account that "Knyazev contributes 60% of his salary to the Armed Forces every month."
According to a legal news outlet Sudovyi Reporter, Knyazev does not admit his guilt and sees the case as "provocative and falsified".
He also called the case "an order of certain politicians for his certain actions." Knyazev called on the members of the HCJ to think, because "today it is him, and tomorrow you."
In addition, he said that he kept his own money in his office, and he does not rule out that "the money could have been stolen."
On Monday, anti-graft agencies SAPO and NABU announced the exposure of large-scale corruption in the Supreme Court.
On Tuesday, NABU confirmed that the head of the Supreme Court was detained on charges of corruption.
The Plenum of the Supreme Court expressed no confidence in Knyazev and deprived him of the position of the head of the Court.