The Head of the Court decided to fight in the cause of justice. And to do it in the best traditions of social activists, attract the press, make sensational statements, to blame officials. Only for public figures it is easier, they do not have The Disciplinary Chamber, which can to put out of jobs.
The tongue is my enemy
In July last year, to the Supreme Council of Justice received a complaint against the actions of Stanislav Yurchenko the Head of the Svatove District Court of Luhansk Oblast. «Local official had made a criminal offense, it is illegally occupied part of the land and built the house there», he said in an interview with the district newspaper. According to the complainant, such statements are a gross violation of judicial ethics and the consequence that the judge’s wife has a lot of land and is engaged in farming. In June this year, the Disciplinary Chamber opened proceedings against a talkative Judge.
Subsequently, it became clear that the sharp statements in the press from the mouth of the Luhansk Judge sound not for the first time. After all, to the High Council of Justice received another complaint, which has been more than 2 years old. The prosecutor of the region complained about the actions of the Judge. In December 2015, lawyer has already made public statements about another person, insisting on her involvement in a criminal offense. Thus, according to the prosecutor, the servant of Themis has violated the presumption of innocence, because the court has not yet taken place. In addition, the Judge published the information of the pre-trial investigation.
So in July of this year another disciplinary proceeding was opened against him and merged it with the preliminary case.
It turned out that the local lawyer wrote in a local newspaper article on the theme « Who puts the sticks in the wheels of the Justice of Svatove ». In it he talks about the criminal proceedings against the Head of the local water-pumping enterprise, for him should award a preventive measure in the form of detention with the right to get out on bail, because he has spent more than 200 thousand public funds. The judge considers such abuses as a chain reaction of other offenses by the city council. Also, Stanislav Yurchenko appealed to the prosecutor’s office to check that someone offered a bribe to some of the employees of the court in which he is working, and if such cases were, demanded that the perpetrators be brought to Justice.
In addition, the Head of the Court believes, that it is necessary to prosecute the chief police officer. For corruption, drinking and driving a car in a state of intoxication.
In May 2017, the Head of the Court again tried to fight for justice with the help of the press and gave an interview to the same local newspaper. In it he accused the land resources inspector of seizing land.
At the meeting of the Disciplinary Chamber, it became clear that Stanislav Yurchenko did not repent at all. He insisted on the truthfulness of the negative assessments, which he gave to officials from his district. In support of his own words, he provided a copy of the verdict, by which the Head of the local water-pumping enterprise was convicted, and extract from the Unified Register of Pre-Trial Investigations on Criminal Proceedings, opened in June of this year. The reason for the proceedings was the unauthorized occupation of the land.
However, the Disciplinary Chamber was revealed violations. It is non-compliance with high standards of conduct. Judges should demonstrate caution in their relations with the press and be able to support independence and impartiality, avoiding any possibility of using their relations with journalists and giving groundless comments on the cases they are considering», noted in paragraph 40 of Сonclusion № 3 (2002) of the Consultative Council of European Judges.
For such carelessness in the words of the lawyer, they decided to suspend from 4 months from job and send to the National School of Judges to study judicial ethics.
Through the truth, he does not repent
Stanislav Yurchenko did not like such an encroachment on freedom of speech, and he came to the High Council of Justice meetings to assert his rights.
«I really gave interviews to journalists, because a number of articles about our court employees were previously published. It was necessary to show the work of the court, our position. But I did not make bias, accusations or threats. I did not agree with the article», said in his defense, the Judge.
He does not refuse from his words, because the Head of the local water-pumping enterprise has been punished for two years in accordance with the sentence passed and he did not even complain to it at the appeals instance.
«People who wrote complaints did not apply for articles in court and did not demand refutation. I think that in our district this discussion was not very relevant», said the Judge.
As for the Chief of Police, then Stanislav Yurchenko also does not doubt the expediency of his words. After all, the policeman did not reveal about a dozen crimes committed in relations to justice and court employees. This is the breaking of the flag and the lattices on the windows of the building, and the breakdown of meetings, and threats to workers and the laying of burial wreaths under the doors of their homes. Stanislav Yurchenko wanted to somehow convey this to the public and the head of local law enforcement, and therefore spoke quite sharply in the interview.
«As for the land issue, the initiative was discovered by ATO participants who could not get land. They came to me, and I told them how to approach and where to get their share. Instead, the guys found hectares that are not where they would have been. Therefore, I do not see which humiliating actions for the complainants I did. Of course that I made conclusions and understood that I need to be careful about the information that I give to journalists. But illegal things I didn’t say», argued the lawyer.
«Your explanation is unclear. Do you think that your statements were within ethical norms, or you did it because of the emotions that you felt at that time» asked Valentyna Danishevska the President of the Supreme Court.
«I always adhere to the Code of Judicial Ethics and I try to express myself so that there is no doubt. Journalists have added certain words and momentum. I read the article and saw that it was kind of clumsy, but decided not to edit the text. I tried to submit the information correctly», answered Stanislav Yurchenko.
Vadym Belyanevych decided to clarify again whether the judge considers it permissible to write articles, sign them by their name, in which such a sharp form is said about local officials. But the judge did not feel a drop of repentance and argued that there was nothing seditious in his words. Interviewed with Stanislav Yurchenko’s journalists was only in oral form, what they wrote as an article on his behalf was actually an oral interview, which the journalist was slightly adorned with emotional words.
Whatever it was, however, it seems that the members of the High Council of Justice decided that the Judge had the right to express his opinion about the events surrounding him and the decisions of the Disciplinary Chamber were canceled. A Judge will not be sent to study ethics, but a warning in the dossier will still write down.