Ukraine Dispute Deepens as Top Court Rejects Chief’s Suspension

A confrontation between Ukraine’s president and its top judicial body intensified after the Constitutional Court rejected a decree suspending its chief.

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has been locked in a standoff with the court since October, when it annulled a crucial part of legislation needed for the eastern European country to unlock international aid.

Zelenskiy issued a decree on Tuesday suspending the court’s chairman, Oleksandr Tupytskyi, for two months at the request of the prosecution because the judge is under investigation.

But the court said the command had no legal force and couldn’t be executed, according to a statement on its website on Wednesday.

Zelenskiy vowed to implement the suspension in full.

The court triggered the dispute when it struck down a law criminalizing the submission of false information on official asset declarations by public employees and ruled that judges cannot have their assets or personal lives monitored.

The ruling undermined Zelenskiy’s efforts to push through anti-corruption legislation after Ukraine’s international creditors including the International Monetary Fund tied financial aid to the nation’s record on upholding the rule of law.

Parliament restored the laws in a new version earlier this month that doesn’t envisage imprisonment for providing false information. Zelenskiy said that was a “mistake” and proposed his own draft law that increases the punishment. He will ask lawmakers to debate it as soon as possible.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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