No legal grounds to suspend Tupytskyi from office – Constitutional Court
There are currently no legal grounds to suspend Oleksandr Tupytskyi as chairman of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine, according to a report posted on the court’s website.
The decision to dismiss a judge of the Constitutional Court is made by the court itself and no other agency or official can make such a decision, the report said.
“As can be seen from these provisions, a judge of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine cannot be dismissed in the absence of his or her own initiative is impossible without the application of precautionary measures from his or her illegal dismissal, which is stipulated by the independence of the Court in general and the judge in particular,” the statement reads.
The Constitutional Court recalled that at least 12 votes of judges of the Constitutional Court are required to dismiss a judge. If the required number of judges of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine has not voted for the decision, the judge continues to perform his or her duties.
“No agency or official can make another decision on such a judge,” the Constitutional Court said.
The court noted that a legal ground for the dismissal of a judge is the entry into force of a conviction against him for committing a crime. Therefore, the dismissal of a judge or chairman of a court on the basis of a decision of an investigating judge during a pretrial investigation would be contrary to Article 1491 of the Constitution of Ukraine.
On December 28, Chairman of the Constitutional Court Oleksandr Tupytskyi was declared a suspect in influencing a witness through bribery, as well as giving knowingly false testimony of a witness. The case concerns the privatization of the Zuivsky Energy and Mechanical Plant in Donetsk region.
Tupytskyi did not show up at 09:30 on December 28 at the Prosecutor General’s Office to be handed a suspicion notice. He said he could not come for family circumstances and asked for his visit to the prosecutor’s office to be postponed until another day.
The Prosecutor General’s Office prepared a petition to the President’s Office, which concerns permission to suspend Tupytskyi as head of the Constitutional Court.