Nov 5, 2020


The Kyiv Post reported, “Pavlo Vovk, a top judge charged with corruption, visited the Presidential Administration soon after Volodymyr Zelenskyy took office in May 2019, the Slidstvo.Info investigative journalism agency reports.


On Nov. 3, Slidstvo.Info published the second part of its investigation into Vovk based on the National Anti-Corruption Bureau’s (NABU) recordings of conversations from the judge’s office.


The recordings suggest that Vovk, head of the very influential Kyiv Administrative District Court, was in close contact with Zelenskyy’s right-hand man Andriy Bohdan prior to the election. Soon after Zelenskyy became president in May 2019, Bohdan was appointed chief of staff.


Days after the inauguration, Bohdan allegedly invited Vovk to meet him at the administration. The substance of their conversation remains unknown. Bohdan is a top lawyer familiar with the country’s court system and many of its judges. He didn’t respond to a request for comment.  On an earlier tape, Vovk allegedly referred to then-presidential candidate Zelenskyy as ‘a total loser.’


Earlier, the Kyiv Post reported that Vovk, one of the most influential Ukrainian judges charged with corruption, allegedly discussed with Bohdan the appointment of Oleksandr Tupytsky as the head of the Constitutional Court around the same time Vovk visited the chief of staff at the President’s Office in May 2019.  


A year after the conversation, Tupytsky spearheaded the court’s campaign against anti-graft institutions, which has now brought the country to the brink of a political and constitutional crisis. He is being investigated by the State Investigation Bureau for high treason.


Vovk himself stands charged with organized crime, usurpation of power, bribery and unlawful interference in the work of the High Qualification Commission of Judges, a state body that selects and vets judges.”