Kychun's candidacy was submitted by Servants of the People parliamentary faction in June last year. At the plenary session on Thursday, February 18, 241 MPs voted for his appointment from the required minimum 226 of votes.
Other candidates for the position, including Olha Bodnar-Petrovska (Batkivshchyna), Yuriy Pavlenko (Opposition Platform - For Life) and Ruslan Sydorovych (Voice), received fewer votes.
Kychun's appointment came amid a constitutional crisis in the country since October last year. We will come back to it later. First, about Viktor Kychun.
Viktor Kychun was born on June 19, 1968 in the village of Velyka Berezna of Khmelnytsky region. He studied at Yaroslav the Wise National Law University in Kharkiv. He also received his research degree here (1997).
From 1997 to 2003 he worked as an assistant at the academic department of Constitutional Law of Ukraine of Yaroslav the Wise National Law University. He is an Associate Professor of this department (since 2003).
According to the official autobiography, Kychun has experience as a lawyer and has also been a legal adviser for some time.
From 2007 to 2015 he held various positions in Credit Dnepr Bank, in particular he was a member of the board of the financial institution.
A friend of Zelensky's man
According to BBC News Ukraine, Kychun is a friend of President Zelensky's representative in the Constitutional Court, Fedor Venyslavsky. The latter confirmed this information in a comment to Radio Svoboda, noting that he did not see a conflict of interest in Kychun's appointment.
"What kind of conflict of interests can there be if a person has been selected and the faction has supported him? I will support the faction's decisions," Venyslavsky said.
After Kychun was appointed, two more judicial positions remain vacant in the Constitutional Court - from the parliament and the congress of judges. We will remind you that the Constitutional court of Ukraine consists of eighteen judges: six of them are elected by the quota of the president, six - from the Verkhovna Rada and another six - from congress of judges of Ukraine.
Viktor Kychun’s Declaration
According to the declaration Kychun submitted in February 2020 as a candidate for the position of a judge of the Constitutional Court, in 2019 he received 42,000 dollars of income from entrepreneurial activity.
In addition, 223,292 UAH (8,000 dollars) he received from a job at the Yaroslav the Wise National Law University.
Viktor Kychun declared 175,000 dollars in cash, 320,000 UAH, and his wife Elena – 52,000 euros. The newly appointed judge also lent more than half a million dollars in total to third parties.
Kychun stores gold ingots for 445,000 UAH (16,000 dollars). Paul Pikot golden watch that cost 2,000 dollars is mentioned in his declaration. His wife wears a watch from Frederique Constant worth 500 dollars.
The judge's family owns an apartment in Kyiv (43.4 sq.m), in addition to an apartment (73.8 sq.m) and a garage (22.4 sq.m) in Kharkiv and a plot of land in Khmelnytsky region.
Kychun drives 2015 VOLKSWAGEN car worth 11,000 dollars and 2013 LEXUS RX350 worth 21,000 dollars.
According to the declaration, the judge and his wife have shares in Locomotive Repair Plant PJSC.
Kychun's appointment took place against the background of the constitutional crisis, which has been observed in Ukraine since October 2020. Then the CCU found Article 366-1 of the Criminal Code, which provides for liability for false information in a declaration, to be inconsistent with the Constitution of Ukraine. Access to the register of e-declarations was closed. The Cabinet of Ministers later approved an order ordering National Agency on Corruption Prevention (NAPC) to restore access to the register without delay.
In his turn, President Zelensky submitted to the Verkhovna Rada a bill proposing the dismissal of all judges of the Constitutional Court involved in the decision. The head of the Constitutional Court Oleksandr Tupytsky said that the bill, initiated by the president, has signs of a constitutional coup in Ukraine.
On December 29, the president issued a decree removing Tupytsky from the position of court chairman, but the CCU declared the document unconstitutional. In their statement, the court representatives called the decree null, because, in their opinion, Zelensky overstepped his powers as president.
Shortly afterwards, the State Security Administration did not allow Tupytsky into the CCU building and office, which the head of the court himself called another attempt to unlawfully interfere in his activities. Tupytsky noted that despite his removal from office for 2 months, no one deprived him of the status of a judge. Today the head of CCU carries out official duties remotely.
On January 19, the State Bureau of Investigation informed Tupytsky of suspicion. He is charged with committing criminal offenses against justice under Part 2 of Art. 384, 386 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine (Knowingly false testimony connected with artificial creation of proofs of defense, bribery of the witness for the purpose of refusal to testify). The SBI notes that despite the acquisition of the status of a suspect in a criminal case and dismissal, Tupytsky continues to go to work in the CCU and obstructs the pre-trial investigation.
On January 27, the president withdrew his bill, which would deprive CCU judges of their powers, for revision. Thus, consideration of this document was removed from the agenda.