OPEN LETTER: NO TO CORRUPTION IN THE HIGH COUNCIL OF JUSTICE, YES TO THE POWER UPDATE!

Open letter of Legal Initiative AU NGO to the President of Ukraine, Head of the Presidential Administration, the Prime Minister of Ukraine, Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada, heads of committees and political factions of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, Minister of Justice of Ukraine, leadership of the High Council of Justice, President of the Supreme Court of Ukraine, the Prosecutor General, the Security Service, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, NGOs, media and human rights defenders, on the need to investigate the legality of acceptance of individual candidates to the High Council of Justice and introduce the due diligence as regards their involvement in corruption schemes.

Today, Ukraine is trying to survive in a war on two fronts, to restore its territorial integrity and get cleansed from corruption. At this difficult time, we are seeing numerous cases where the corruptioners and bribe-takers raise their head and long for power by any means.

Investigating the situation related to changes in the judicial system in Ukraine, our specialists have found certain facts of concern. In particular, it is the fact that the High Council of Justice can accept a person whose reputation is not perfect, noticed in abuse of office and suspected in corruption schemes. Unfortunately, we have to call a candidate who now claims to become a member of the High Council of Justice, but brings certain doubts with us. This is Levanchuk Oleksiy Mykhailovych, today the Judge og the Court of Appeal of Mykolayiv region (http://www.president.gov.ua/content/vru_cand02.html).

Based on the current information from public sources, we ask the Administration of the President of Ukraine, the High Council of Justice, the investigation bodies of the Security Service of Ukraine and the Ministry of Internal Affairs, as well as the General Prosecutor’s Office to check the authenticity of the data submitted in Levanchuk’s application immediately!

We ask to investigate and provide a legitimate assessment of the following information from public sources (media):

  • Creation of corruption schemes by Mr. Levanchuk in Khmelnytsky region;
  • Involvement of the other judges and officials in these transactions on the basis of “mutual responsibility”;
  • Abuse of family ties and their use in official activities;
  • The presence of undeclared wealth in the “family clan of Levanchuks”;
  • Unlawful taking of offices.

The shadow corrupt schemes are constantly being improved. Unlike the conscious and law-abiding citizens, these individuals are not limited in the means to achieve their selfish goals. Of course, we need to act within the law and shall not unreasonably blame someone in certain crimes. To prove the guilt of the person is not an easy thing, especially when the traces are eliminated carefully, and the journalists and human rights activists who were investigating tehse cases are suddenly killed in unknown circumstances, while the investigation throws up its hands helplessly. But in our country it should not be the case any more! Some cases have become striking, and we have no moral right to ignore them.

We ask for your help and attract the public attention to establish the truth and justice. The the fact that Mr. Levanchuk with such reputation is trying to break into one of the most important law-enforcement organs of Ukraine brings about not only a concern but also indignation. We believe that our joint efforts will prevent the access of people with a dubious reputation to power. We know that the country has enough moral, professional, experienced people who have to replace the corrupt officials.

WE ASK TO INVESTIGATE!

THE AVAILABILITY CORRUPTION SCHEMES IN THE JUDICIARY SYSTEM OF KHMELNYTSKY REGION CREATED BY A.M. LEVANCHUK

According to the testimony of one of the lawyers, who tragically died, Vasyl Popyk, the head of the Right to Life NGO (on May 22, 2012 the human rights activist was brutally murdered near the regional hospital in Khmelnitsky. According to witnesses, the murderer was a person in police unuiform, camouflage… The police failed to find the murderer), the top of the corruption pyramid of our “hero” are the “right” cases which literally stick to the hands of Mr. Levanchuk. We mean the cases for which one can get a nice “tip”. The average fee is $ 30 000 to $ 50 000. They say that 70-80% of the cases of appeal are the “extortion” in favor of Mr. Levanchuk.

You can not overlook the numerous appeals of the human rights activity to the infamous ex-President Viktor Yanukovych and the higher courts (today, by the way, Mr. Levanchuk is going to the High Council of Justice!), the response to which was rather sluggish, despite the facts of numerous knowingly unjust judgments made by the judges of Khmelnytsky City Court. Among them, in the first group of “family clans”, was the Chairman of the Court of Appeal of Khmelnitsky region, Levanchuk Oleksiy Mykolayovych, and his son, at the time the judge of Khmelnytsky City Court, Levanchuk A.O. (http://skarga.info/complaint/item/id/662/).

It is known that since 2010, the violent raider scheme blossomed in Khmelnytsky region (http://moyagazeta.com/news/a-3043.html,http://moyagazeta.com/news/a-2529.html). Let us recall, that it was during the presidency of Mr. Levanchuk in Khmelnitsky regional court and subsequently dueing his work in the Court of Appeal in Khmelnitsky region. It is the “golden time” of the “family” in the region prosperity, which was described by Vasyl Popyk, linking it with the corruption schemes of Mr. Levanchuk (http://skarga.info/complaint/item/id/663/) and other persons authorized by the state power.

Pulling along the others, making them dependent on you is an aerobatics of affairism, since not many persons want to become the sidekicks. However, in the criminalized state this phenomenon is perceived as the norm. If you want to stay at work or in office, prepare and bring a bribe to the top vertically. According to the killed human rights activist, the community of judges still remembers with indignation how Mr. Levanchuk organized a fundraising to stay in his office. In a fair and transparent judiciary structure such a thing would be impossible, but in situations where only the corruption schemes work, the kingmaker is absolutely necessary. It was reported that the estimate determined by Levanchuk was $ 5,000 to $ 50,000 each for the continuation of his tenure as a head for the fourth (the last, based on the retirement age) term. “The issue price is $ 1 million which he allegedly prepares to give to the President of Ukraine on Wednesday, November 23, 2011 during a personal audience” (http://ord-ua.com/2011/11/21/cimejnij-klan-p-levanchuka-na-hmelnichchini/). It is not known whether the expectations of the project “contributors” justified.

ABUSE OF KINSHIP

AND THEIR USE IN OFFICIAL ACTIVITIES

Under these conditions, it is necessary to have a “front” in the appropriate bodies, which could hinder the criminal intent. Of course, maybe it’s a coincidence that Maksym Yakymchuk, Levanchuk’s son-in-law, is an employee of the Department for Combating the Organized Crime at the Administration of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Khmelnitsky region. Still, we know that the young man does not enjoy an authority neither among the colleagues nor on the part of the leadership, and his fortune unwittingly brings about a reason to believe that he is involved in the “family business.”

The assertion of “family values” commands respect, but not when it is done unlawfully, especially in the case where an unfounded judgment breaks the lives of others. This was observed in one of the most notorious cases, which, by the way, was the considered by the European Court and where the venerable head of the family of Levanchuks was noted. Remarkably, in this case the European judicial authority recognized that Ukraine violated 14 articles (!) of the European Convention on Prisoners. Then, Ivan Nechyporuk spent seven years behind bars, and Oleksandr Motsnyi – as many as nine years for someone else’s crime. And it’s given the police tortures. Then they will tell the reporters that judge Levanchuk personally brought a case of unfortunate killing of a 49-year-old woman to the Ternopil Court of Appeal, and personally handed it to the then president of the court, Lydia Derkach. The case was reviewed several times, as the testimonies of the victim’s relative differed every time. Later it was found out that Levanchuk personally took care of the case, as was… in close relationship with the victim and the family, and was able to use his official position to put pressure on judges, in particular, due to the powerful patron, the First Deputy Chairman of the Supreme Court of Ukraine, Petro Pylypchuk (http://poglyad.te.ua/podii/bezpidstavnyj-vyrok-polamav-zhyttya-dvoh-cholovikiv-a-ternopilski-suddi-dosi-v-mantiyah-dosi-chynyat-kryvosuddya/). In this case, there are many strange and incomprehensible aspects. Finally, the journalists of Pohliad portal write, that the “European Court rightly ordered Ukraine to pay EUR 49,000 to Nechyporuk as a moral and material compensation, but it should be understand that the money was allocated from the state budget, and it would be fair to collect the compensation fron judges who knowingly made an unjust sentence.”

Will the current President, Petro Poroshenko, follow the path of his “predecessors” and allow continuing this shameful tradition of the national bureaucrats and corrupt officials? We hope that the Presidential Administration will study the situation carefully and make a judt decision. Since, as the popular saying says, “Do not set the wolf to keep the sheep”. And Mr. Levanchuk now wants to get to the High Council of Justice, while his reputation, based on the referenced materials, it far from impeccable.

Can we be sure that in these circumstances the said judge will strive to enforce the European values, give an impartial consideration of the cases and will not address the “family issues” by any means?

AVAILABILITY OF UNDECLARED FORTUNE OF LEVANCHUK’S FAMILY

Ord-ua.com reports the following information (see the details at http://ord-ua.com/2011/11/21/cimejnij-klan-p-levanchuka-na-hmelnichchini/) on considerable fortune of Levanchuk with unclear origin: “… a cool three-story house at Selektsiyna Street in Khmelnytsky worth a million dollars, an exclusive car Audi A8 bought for USD 1000,000. The this realm of this, so to speak, Themis representative includes 30 hectares of land in the city and six plots of land in the city park, in the area allocated for rest to Khmelnytsky residents. The question arises, how the “arbiter of justice” becomes rich so fast. Clearly, not due to wages”. The photo evidence is available.

It is also reported that his son, also the judge, Levanchuk Andriy “drove a Hammer, and now Lexus-570. The young man has just moved to the capital, and already purchased there a cool apartment in a prestigious area”.

“Why does the police overlooks that, or are in cahoots?”, it is a rhetorical question of one of the Internet users delivered to a wide audience (http://ord-ua.com/2011/05/04/vinnitskie-sudi-vzbuntovalis-/?page=1#c317636). Probably, the answer to this question is given at the same ORD web-page, namely – about the amazing fortune of Levanchuk’s son-in-law as for an employee of the Department for Combating the Organized Crime, which inadvertently suggests a relationship, and not just the family one. Even under the conditions of occupation of managerial positions in the Ministry of Internal Affairs, it is unlikely that he could acquired all that at a modest salary of a police officer. It is not likely that while fight the corruption, Maksym Yakymchuk overworked and managed to get a great house at 3 Fedorovs Street, worth several million dollars. Only the pool, according to the builders, is worth at least USD 200,000, as ORD website writes, not to mention the luxurious Lexus-570 (is not it the same brand as owned by Levanchuk Andriy?), and a boat for $ 50 000, so much-needed to a young employee of the Department for Combating the Organized Crime, probably, to fight the corrupt in the style of James Bond? It is doubtful. When did the police started earned such money? Maybe it’s time to include out law enforcement officers to Forbes lists? Hey, are there the billionaires among them? For police millionaires will not surprise anyone soon…

UNLAWFUL TAKING OF OFFICES

Now let’s consider simple math a little. Levanchuk O.M. was born in 1950. Let’s remember that the “retirement age” in Ukraine is 60 years for men, and Mr. Levanchuk in his 65 is still employed according to all nomenclature traditions. This can indicate the presence of “good relations” in his environment and certain financial capacity, the origin of which is rather dubious on the basis of the above data. Of course, one cannot forbid an active man to work and cannot refuse a son to follow the “father’s paths”, but both citizens and human rights defenders express their indignation about the activities of the judge and accuse “Levanchuk’s clan” in corruption schemes. Here’s an example of one of the emotional appeal of a citizen on the Internet, which speaks for itself (we keep the expressive punctuation as it is): “In accordance with Art. 20 of the Law of Ukraine on Judiciary System, the Court of Appeal shall be appointed for a period of five years from among the judges of this court and dismissed by the High Council of Justice on the proposal of the relevant council of judges. Good People!!! Mr. Levanchuk was appointed as a judge of the Court of Appeal on Friday, June 15, 2012, the Council of Judges of Ukraine urgently met on Tuesday, and already on June 21, 2012 the High Council of Justice appointed that MISTER as the HEAD the Court of Appeal !!!!!! None of Mykolayiv judges saw him, even after his appointment!!!!!!! WHERE IS THE TRUTH IN THIS COUNTRY????? WHERE IS THE COMPLIANCE WITH LAWS??????? “. You can make the conclusions yourself.

We would like the the Presidential Administration, the High Council of Justice and other relevant bodies gave exhaustive answers to who Mr. Levanchuk really is, a respectable and respected judge, who all these years is unjustly accused of the charges, or a criminal authority in the mantle, the “Godfather” of the shadow schemes in Khmelnytsky region? Who are the persons associated with him? What aim do they really pursue, to do their job conscientiously and professionally or get enriched by abuse of office and leverage received? And whether it is feasible to enable such persons to continue to influence the fate of the state and its judicial system?

Again, let us recall that Mr. Levanchuk applied for the competition for membership in the HCJ, one of the most important bodies of the country, whose representatives shall be not only professional lawyers, but highly moral citizens to whom the Ukrainian society trusts.

We sincerely hope that justice will be established.


Sincerely, the Chairman of the Legal Initiative AU NGO, Arthur Meheria

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