KYIV, Ukraine (AP) - Ukraine's president has dismissed two judges from the country's Constitutional Court, saying in a decree issued Saturday that certain jurists "pose a threat to the state independence and national security of Ukraine."
President Volodymyr Zelenskiy removed Constitutional Court Chairman OleksandrTupytskyi and another judge in the decree. Tupytskyi was appointed to the court in 2013 by former President Viktor Yanukovych, who was driven from office the following year by massive protests sparked in part by anger over widespread corruption.
The Constitutional Court last year froze anti-corruption reform in the country, canceling key provisions of anti-corruption legislation that Ukraine approved after persistent demands from the West.
The Constitutional Court declared unconstitutional public access to electronic income declarations of officials, and also outlawed criminal punishment for providing false income information.
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Ukraine's Investigators Summon Constitutional Court Head Over Organised Crime Suspicions
The Ukrainian State Bureau of Investigations has summoned OleksandrTupytskyi, the head of the national Constitutional Court, for questioning on 2 November over his suspected involvement in organised crime.
The body added that Tupytskyi was suspected of involvement in an organised criminal group as well as covering up the committed crimes.
"An investigator of the Ukrainian State Bureau of Investigations has summoned the head of the Constitutional Court for questioning scheduled for 2 November 2020", the bureau said in a statement on late Thursday.
Earlier this week, the Constitutional Court overturned a number of anti-corruption norms in the legislation, including criminal liability for declaring false information. On Wednesday, the EU Delegation to Ukraine urged Kiev to restore conditions for the effective work of anti-corruption bodies, recalling that EU assistance, including financial, was linked to independent work of the anti-corruption architecture, free of any pressure.
Several opposition parties said that the Constitutional Court's decision could have negative consequences for Ukraine's European integration. Internet publication Evropeyskaya Pravda reported, citing a letter from the EU Ambassador of Ukraine to Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration, that the EU might suspend the visa-free regime with Ukraine in connection with the decision of the Constitutional Court.