Chairman of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine investigated for bribery
The East European nation is embroiled in the crisis over investigation of corruption charges against Chairman of the Constitutional Court
Ukraine, the East European country, has started investigation of a bribery case of the Chairman of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine - Oleksandr Tupytskyi.
Reports emanating from the Ukrainian capital Kiev suggest that President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has ordered the probe. Zelenskiy and Tupytskyi are said to be not on the best of terms since 2018 when Tupytskyi intervened and termed the President's request to the parliament to dissolve the Constitutional Court as a "constitutional coup". President Zelenskiy had reportedly threatened dissolution of the parliament if it did not dissolve the Constitutional Court. Tupytskyi, who was the deputy chairman of the Constitutional Court that time, took over as Chairman in September 2019.
Prosecution General Venediktova heads the team of Ukrainian prosecutors currently investigating allegations of suspected bribery of a witness. Tupytskyi has since challenged the Prosecution General Venediktova's authority, asserting that dismissal of a Constitutional Court judge would be against the Ukrainian law.
Tupytskyi has been serving in the Constitutional Court since 2013 when he was nominated by the ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych. Tupytskyi was subsequently elected as the Deputy Chairman in March 2018 and as Chairman in September 2019.
The prosecutors have asked for Tupytskyi's suspension for two months during their investigation, which is being resisted by him.
Tupytskyi is accused of acquiring 126 square km of land near popular Crimea resort town of Yalta in 2018 and hiding the information in his annual online financial disclosure saying he could not figure out how to declare the property. Russia had annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014.
Ukraine is under pressure to crackdown on corruption and resolve the row soon. The international community has threatened to withhold financial support to the country is the existing constitutional crisis is not resolved soon. Suspension of financial support may plummet Ukraine into deep economic trouble.