Constitutional Court calls on Zelensky to cancel his decree on Tupytskyi

The Constitutional Court of Ukraine has described a decree by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to suspend the court’s chairman, Oleksandr Tupytskyi, from office for two months as “legally null and void” and called for the document to be revoked, according to a statement posted on the court’s website.

“From the constitutional and legal point of view, Decree of the President of Ukraine No. 607/2020 of December 29, 2020 ‘On the suspension from office of a judge of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine’ is legally null and void and cannot be enforced since it was issued by the President of Ukraine in excess of his constitutional powers, contradicts the constitutional principles of the organization of state power in Ukraine, the constitutional principles of the activity of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine, and encroaches on the constitutional and legal status of a judge of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine,” the statement reads.

According to the statement, the signing of this decree by the president is an unlawful interference in Tupytskyi’s activities as a judge of the Constitutional Court, an obstacle to the performance of his official duties, which entails legal liability under the law.

The Constitutional Court warned that the Criminal Code provides for criminal liability for interfering in the activities of a statesman (Article 344) and interfering in the activities of judicial bodies (Article 376).

Article 60 of the Constitution of Ukraine stipulates that no one is obliged to carry out clearly criminal orders. Issuing or fulfilling a clearly criminal order leads to legal liability.

“Based on this, Constitutional Court judge Oleksandr Tupytskyi is obliged to continue to perform his duties in accordance with the Constitution of Ukraine and the law of Ukraine ‘On the Constitutional Court of Ukraine,’ and the President of Ukraine should immediately cancel his Decree No. 607/2020 of December 29 2020,” the court said.

On December 29, Zelensky signed a decree suspending Tupytskyi as a judge of the Constitutional Court for two months.

The Constitutional Court said the decision to dismiss a judge could be made exclusively by the Constitutional Court at a special plenary session, and no other body or official could make such a decision in its place.

On December 28, Tupytskyi was declared a suspect in influencing a witness through bribery, as well as giving knowingly false testimony as a witness. The case concerns the privatization of the Zuivsky Energy and Mechanical Plant in Donetsk region.

Tupytskyi did not show up at the Prosecutor General’s Office on December 28 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 concerned permission to suspend Tupytskyi as head of the Constitutional Court.

(C)UKRINFORM 2020

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