The HCJ returned the motion for Vovk’s suspension without consideration, arguing that he had been served with charges in an improper manner.
Thus, Vovk and his colleagues, who are suspected of creating a criminal organization and seizing power through influence on the judiciary, will continue to administer justice in the scandalous Kyiv Administrative Court. The judicial self-government does not see this as a problem, nor does it see enough evidence to suspend the participants in this case.
The HCJ also refused to withdraw its member Pavlo Hrechkivskyi from considering the motion to remove Vovk. According to the NABU, Vovk communicated closely with Hrechkivskyi and influenced his activities as a member of the HCJ — this, again, was mentioned in the “Kyiv Administrative Court films.” However, the HCJ did not find enough evidence that it was Hrechkivskyi’s voice on the tapes.
The HCJ meeting was effectively closed — journalists and CSO representatives were not allowed into the hall, citing quarantine restrictions. No online broadcasts were made, and the National Guard was stationed in front of the High Council of Justice building. However, none of these measures prevented Pavel Vovk from joining the meeting.
It is worth noting that the NABU requested Pavlo Vovk’s suspension from administering justice for the duration of the investigation concerning alleged recordings from his office, the latest of which was published earlier today. The head of the Kyiv Administrative Court himself has repeatedly complained about pressure from the NABU. The notorious tapes have allegedly “provoked” a campaign pressuring Ukraine’s judicial system.
Of course, this HCJ decision does not stop the investigation concerning Kyiv Administrative Court judges and their alleged partners. However, Vovk holding on to his office will hardly help the investigation. This once again demonstrates the need for judicial reform in Ukraine, which should begin with the reform of the High Council of Justice.