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DACK judge files a complaint with General Prosecutor against a "Skhemy" journalist for reporting on her Russian citizenship

29.04.2024, 16:48

Arina Litvinova, judge of the now-liquidated District Administrative Court of Kyiv, filed complaints with the Prosecutor's office and the High Council of Justice against the "Skhemy" journalist Heorhiy Shabayev. Photos by Radio Liberty


Arina Litvinova, a judge of the now-liquidated District Administrative Court of Kyiv, filed complaints with the Prosecutor General's Office and the High Council of Justice against the "Skhemy" (Radio Liberty) journalist Heorhiy Shabayev, claiming that he "interfered in her work as a judge," reports Radio Liberty, citing a post on the HCJ website.

Earlier, Shabayev released an investigation into Litvinova's Russian citizenship, while the judge denied having one, calling the journalists' report a "provocation".

In her complaint, Litvinova stated: "I believe that such actions on the part of the journalist are an interference in the work of the court, complete with loud allegations aimed at harming a judge's reputation and undermining the authority of the judiciary. By making baseless allegations and acting to discreditct judge A.V. Litvinova, the journalist is creating a threat to the independence of the judicial branch of the government."

The judge insists that the purpose of the report was, among other things, to "prevent her from passing the qualification assessment" and to instill a "negative opinion" on her and the DACK judges in general in Ukrainian society.

"Skhemy" asked the Prosecutor General's Office whether a case has been opened based on the judge's complaint and are waiting for a response.

After the release of the investigation, Arina Litvinova sent a letter to the editors, claiming that "the reported information is untrue, presented in a biased manner so as to cause reputational losses, and is not confirmed by any official documents."

The media outlet reminds that on December 13, 2022, the Verkhovna Rada voted to liquidate the District Administrative Court of Kyiv, and as soon as the evening of the same day, President Volodymyr Zelensky signed the bill into effect. However, as per the Constitution, the liquidation of the court where a judge works is not grounds enough to dismiss the judge. Therefore, all 51 DACK judges, including Arina Litvinova, continue to receive salaries as judges. According to Litvinova's's 2023 declaration, she received 1,629,000 hryvnias worth of salary while not administering justice.

The further fate of the DACK judges will be decided by the Higher Qualification Commission of Judges of Ukraine. Its members must assess the DACK judges to check if they are fit for the positions they hold, and then issue recommend them for appointment either to the newly formed Kyiv City District Administrative Court or to another first instance court.

Earlier, "Skhemy" reported that the District Administrative Court of Kyiv, headed by Judge Pavel Vovk, was to play a key role in the establishment of a Russia-backed government in Ukraine, ruling in favor of Viktor Yanukovych in two lawsuits about his allegedly unlawful deprivation of his presidential status.

On February 18, 2024, someone tried to access "Skhemy" journalist Heorhiy Shabayev's Telegram account. He believes this had to do with his reporting.

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