Ukraine's Supreme Court Strikes Down President's Attempt To Block Judge's Appointment

Ukraine's Supreme Court has overturned President Volodymyr Zelenskiy's decree annulling the appointment of Oleksandr Tupytskiy to the Constitutional Court.

Tupytskiy's lawyer, Oleksandr Leshchenko, informed Ukrayinska pravda of the Supreme Court's decision on July 14. An adviser at Zelenskiy's office said the president would appeal the decision.

Zelenskiy dismissed Tupytskiy and another judge, Oleksandr Kasminin, in late March for what he called threatening "Ukraine's independence and national security."

Both judges were appointed by pro-Russian former President Viktor Yanukovych, who was ousted in 2014 following the Euromaidan protests.

Zelenskiy's move to oust the two judges came after the Constitutional Court in October 2020 struck down anti-corruption legislation and curbed the powers of the National Anti-Corruption Agency (NAZK).

The court decision dealt a blow to reforms demanded by the West and threatened to impact lending from the International Monetary Fund.

In response to the court ruling, Zelenskiy vowed to reverse the decision and continue with his anti-graft reform agenda.

In the decree, Zelenskiy invoked a parliamentary decision calling Yanukovych's rule from 2010 to 2014 an "usurpation of power."

In December, Zelenskiy issued a decree suspending Tupytskiy, who was facing a preliminary investigation over suspected witness tampering and bribery.

The Constitutional Court then ruled that the president had exceeded his powers, in what Tupytskiy called an attempted "constitutional coup" against the judges.

According to Ukraine's constitution, Constitutional Court judges can only be dismissed by a vote of two-thirds of its 18 members.

With reporting by Ukrayinska pravda and Zerkalo nedeli