17:37 19.04.2019

Kyiv's District Administrative Court chairman views Poroshenko's statements on PrivatBank decision as interference in judges' work

3 min read
Kyiv's District Administrative Court chairman views Poroshenko's statements on PrivatBank decision as interference in judges' work

Kyiv's District Administrative Court Chairman Pavlo Vovk views Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko's statements regarding the court as interference in the work of judges.

"As the head of an 'unreformed' court, I cannot remain indifferent to the statements of the country's leadership, which yesterday called to accelerate the qualification assessment of judges in order to relaunch the District Administrative Court of the city of Kyiv, which had made a decision on PrivatBank," Vovk wrote on his Facebook page on Friday.

"The Security Service and the Prosecutor General's Office were also tasked with 'evaluating whether there are grounds to initiate a criminal case against the judges' for a miscarriage of justice 'after the conclusion of all necessary judicial procedures.' [...] These statements, especially while the court ruling has not entered into effect, are effectively a threat to certain judges and a kind of a signal to the others, who will revise it, of what awaits them in the future," he said.

"The form and the format of the statement" on the reloading of the court aims at influencing this process "with a subsequent result desirable for the author," Vovk said.

According to Vovk, the judges must "report interference in their activities in the administration of justice to the law enforcement agencies and the High Council for Justice."

"Yes, one should not expect any immediate response right now. However, in time, undoubtedly, a relevant evaluation will be given to illegal actions of 'the authors' of these loud statements," Vovk said.

"A good fixation of one's own illegal actions always facilitates the process of holding 'the authors' of such statements responsible," he said.

"Such statements and actions of the head of state only increase the applicant's chances of winning the case at the ECHR. And it clearly doesn't appear to be the stance of the state," Vovk said.

In the evening of April 18, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko asked the heads of the Ukrainian Prosecutor General's Office and the Ukrainian Security Service at a session of the Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council to look into the possibility of holding the judges of Kyiv's District Administrative Court responsible for declaring that the nationalization of PrivatBank was illegal.

The president also said that the qualification evaluation of the judges of the Kyiv's District Administrative Court should be held as soon as possible.

As reported earlier, the Ukrainian government backed the proposal of the National Bank and former PrivatBank shareholders and nationalized the biggest bank in Ukraine on December 18, 2016. Ihor Kolomoisky and Hennadiy Boholiubov had a majority of shares in PrivatBank as of that moment.

The Kyiv District Administrative Court proclaimed the bank's nationalization to be illegal on April 18, 2019, as demanded by Kolomoisky. The National Bank and the Finance Ministry said they would appeal the ruling after it was officially posted and insisted on the correctness of the privatization decision.

PrivatBank ranked first among 77 banks active in the country as of January 1, 2019 in the amount of total assets (UAH 525.248 billion), according to the National Bank of Ukraine.

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