During martial law, the District Administrative Court of Kyiv made a number of decisions on multimillion-dollar payments to officials, the renewal of the lustrated and almost a million-dollar payment to “Judge Maidan”, as well as canceled sanctions against an enterprise with a “Russian footprint.”
After the full-scale Russian invasion on February 24, the District Administrative Court stopped making any decisions for over a month. The OASK resumed its work only in April – and since then it has adopted tens of thousands of decisions and resolutions.
In particular, in August 2022, the judge of the District Administrative Court of Kyiv Volodymyr Celeberda accepted decision on the cancellation of the order on the dismissal and reinstatement of the former Deputy Prosecutor General Serhii Kizy as a prosecutor – and on the payment of UAH 3.5 million to him for forced absenteeism. According to judge Celeberda, the order does not contain proper reasoning and was made in violation of the instructions on record keeping.
“From the content of the contested order, it can be seen that there is no information to substantiate it, which indicates the defendant’s non-compliance with the instructions for record keeping and generally accepted legislation regarding dismissal from work,” the decision reads (author’s spelling preserved).
It is interesting that a month later, in September, the same judge Celeberda refused to cancel an absolutely identical order on the dismissal of another employee of the Prosecutor General’s Office, Yaroslav Fales. He, like Serhiy Kizi, did not apply for certification in 2019 – and was dismissed by Prosecutor General Ryaboshapka.
Despite the identity of the orders for the release of Kizy and Fales, in the case of the second, Volodymyr Celeberda wrote: “The contested order of the General Prosecutor’s Office of Ukraine was issued on the basis, within the limits of authority and in the manner provided for by the Constitution and laws of Ukraine, given that, legal grounds for recognition its illegality and cancellation are absent.”
Serhii Kizi and Yaroslav Fales filed their lawsuits back in 2019, so they waited for the decision of the Ukrainian Administrative Court for more than 2 years. However, the District Administrative Court made some other decisions much faster – practically in “turbo mode”.
Example, decision about additional payment of UAH 3.6 million in severance pay to the recently dismissed judge of the Constitutional Court Oleksandr Litvinenko. Only in April of this year, Judge Lytvynenko was dismissed from the Constitutional Court due to the expiration of his term of office, in May the OASK opened proceedings on his claim – and already in September, Judge Ihor Kachur satisfied his claim.
It is worth reminding that the so-called “Vovka Films” – recordings from the office of the head of the Kyiv District Administrative Court, Pavlo Vovka, made public by NABU in 2019 and 2020 – refer to the special relationship between the OASK and the Constitutional Court. So, on one of the recordings, Pavlo Vovk tells his colleagues that the Constitutional Court “belongs” to them.
Another significant payment during martial law was made by the District Administrative Court of Kyiv awarded former “Maidan judge” Lyudmila Kozyatnik. In 2017, her released The Supreme Council of Justice due to the fact that during the Revolution of Dignity it unjustifiably revoked the driver’s licenses of protest participants. Subsequently, Judge Kozyatnik successfully challenged her dismissal in the Supreme Court. In 2020, she was renewed – and immediately fired again. However, she has now demanded that she be paid for the years 2017-2020, as the 2017 dismissal was ruled illegal.
Judge Volodymyr Celeberda satisfied her claim, awarding her a payment of over 900,000 hryvnias.
It is interesting that judge Lyudmila Kozyatnik was represented by lawyer Rostyslav Kravets both in her disciplinary case before the High Council of Justice and in the subsequent appeal against her dismissal. He publicly defends OASK judges, and is also repeatedly mentioned in conversations on Plivka Vovka as a participant in various schemes.
Judges Ablov, Ogurtsov, Kachur, and Pogribnichenko also reinstated a number of officials dismissed under the law “On Purification of Power” during the martial law, i.e. ousted. At the same time, they were also awarded significant payments for forced absenteeism. Yes, to the former employee of the Secretariat of the Cabinet of Ministers Oleksiy Mazhan, judge Yevhenii Ablov awarded UAH 1.18 million in payments. And the judge is Oleksiy Ogurtsov awarded UAH 1.67 million to the notorious employee of the Foreign Intelligence Service (and before that, the KGB of the USSR) Oleg Bilyavskyi.
The mirrored plaintiffs filed their lawsuits in 2014-2016. The proceedings in the cases were stopped for a long time, so they waited for the decision of the OASK for some 6 and some as long as 8 years. But in some cases, as in the aforementioned case of ex-judge of the Supreme Court Oleksandr Litvynov, the District Administrative Court makes a decision much faster. Yes, in August, judge Yevhenii Ablov canceled the April resolutions of the NCRECP on revoking the electricity production license and the right to the “green tariff” of the PV Solar Station LLC.
The NCRECP issued these resolutions due to the fact that the co-founder and beneficiary of the enterprise was Russian citizen Vasyl Reshetov. However, Judge Ablov wrote in his decision that the Commission could apply such sanctions if Reshetov was a resident of the Russian Federation, instead he has been living in Ukraine for a long time and has a family here. The judge also emphasized that by the time the case was being considered, Reshetov had already resigned from the company’s founders, although he admitted that he was a co-founder at the time of the issuance of the NCRECP resolutions.
Appeals have been filed with the Sixth Administrative Court of Appeals against almost all of the mentioned decisions of the OASK.