By Max Voldman
Ukraine’s National Anti-Corruption Authority (NABU) seized a glass jar containing $150,000 from judge Mykola Chaus. The head of the anti-corruption prosecutor’s office, Nazar Kholodnytsky, posted a photo of a jar filled with bundles of US dollars on his Facebook page. The money was allegedly exchanged for favorable treatment in a suspected drug dealer’s case. Judge Chaus may now face 8-12 years in prison.
Actually placing the judge under arrest however, has proven tricky and burdensome. Under Ukrainian law, Judge Chaus has immunity from criminal prosecution. Ukraine’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, can hold a meeting to strip immunity, but they’re all on vacation.
Additionally, to serve Chaus with charges, the charges must be signed by Kholodnytsky, who is out of the country, but set to return soon.
NABU is holding on to the jar of money, as well as other physical evidence, until these legal and logistical hurdles can be overcome.
This story comes a month after Ukraine launched the NABU to fight corruption among Ukrainian public officials, a problem that has delayed IMF aid to the country.
If any readers have any information on bribes to public officials in the Ukraine and elsewhere, especially if they originated from American companies, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) would be very interested. The SEC may reward the sources of such information.
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