Ex-Head of Appeal Court of Crimea Valery Chornobuk, suspected of state treason, was released from the custody by Kyiv Appeal Court, as Crimea’s Prosecutor’s Office reported on Facebook.
The Appeal Court canceled the decision of Holosiyevo District Court of Kyiv on the extension of the term of detention for Chornobuk.
The defense based its position on the fact that the suspect is a judge as on November 29, 2018, the Supreme Court as a part of a panel of judges of the Cassation Administrative Court recognized as illegal and canceled the regulation of the Verkhovna Rada “On dismissal of a judge” dated September 29, 2016.
However, according to the Ukrainian Law “On judiciary and status of judges”, the cancelation of the regulation is not the ground for the restoration of Chornobuk at his post, so he does not possess the status of a judge.
The decision on the dismissal of a person from the post of a judge, in accordance with the acting law, may be made only by the Supreme Council of Justice.
Chornobuk chaired the Appeal Court in Crimea from December 2011 until April 2014. The Ukrainian law enforcement bodies put Chornobuk on the wanted list in July 2018.
Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko claims that the former head of the Appeal Court of Crimea is suspected of having committed an offense under the Art 111 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine (state treason). According to the Prosecutor General, Chornobuk carried out subversive activities, in particular, he helped Crimean courts to administer justice on the basis of Russian legislation.
According to the investigation, Valeriy Chornobuk cooperated with the occupation authorities during the annexation of Crimea by Russia. In particular, on March 24, 2014, at the court session, he urged judges to learn the Russian legislation and receive Russian passports.
Chornobuk denies the accusation of separatism.