The deputy chief of staff to Volodymyr Zelensky has found himself amidst a corruption probe

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Volodymyr Zelensky

The deputy chief of staff to the Ukrainian president Andriy Smyrnov is now under investigation for his involvement in the escape of a judge, who had been caught taking a bribe, from the country in 2016, Slidstvo.info reports.

In one of the country’s highest profile corruption cases, Mykola Chaus was caught accepting US$150,000 but managed to flee to neighboring Moldova before he could be arrested. In a leaked document procured by Slidstvo, Smyrnov’s name appears as one of many people who may have helped Chaus make his way over the border.

Smyrnov has been in charge of judicial reform in Zelensky’s office but this isn’t his first scandal. In August of 2019 an activist fighting against illegal construction in Kyiv’s Protasiv Yar accused Smyrnov of threatening him on behalf of Hennady Korban – a head of UKROP party.

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