Oleksandr Vyshnevyi, one of Chaus’s barristers, commented the situation to ‘Bukvy’.

According to the lawyer, the SBU (Ukrainian Security Service) does not comment on why they deny access to Chaus, because ‘they have no logical explanation’.

‘I do not rule out the possibility that Chaus could have already written a statement of refusal of defenders and could have been provided with a free legal aid lawyer. Moreover, the investigator may say that he has no information about Chaus’s barristers and their attempts to contact him. That is, if you want to break the law, there are thousand possibilities to do this’, Oleksandr Vyshnevyi said.

He added that the fact the SBU officers detained Mykola Chaus on Friday, before the weekend, ‘seems to be a planned scheme’. Chaus’s wife had no contact with her husband either and learned all the news about him from the media.

‘In addition, the lawyer has to be involved in proceedings when a person is detained or is a suspect. If a person, as the SBU notes, is a victim, then the involvement of a lawyer is solely at the will of that person. This may lead to certain manipulations, which prevent lawyers from accessing confidential communication with Chaus’, concluded Vyshnevyi.

On July 31, the SBU announced that it had not abducted ex-judge Mykola Chaus, but had acted within its authority. However, Ukrainians found this explanation rather strange.


Who is Chaus?

Mykola Chaus is an ex-judge of the Dniprovskyi District Court of Kyiv, known for making decisions against Avtomaidan. He was subject to lustration, but was not lustrated.

On August 9, 2016, the National Anticorruption Bureau detectives caught Chaus on a $ 150,000 bribe. However, the judge was not detained because, according to the Constitution, he had judicial immunity.

On November 28, 2017, the High Council of Justice dismissed Chaus from the position of a judge. In October, Interpol declared Chaus wanted. He was found in Moldova. On July 11, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky asked the Moldovan government to facilitate the extradition of Mykola Chaus.


Chaus kidnapping

On April 3, Chaus’s lawyer, Yulian Balan, said that a group of unidentified armed persons had abducted his client. Moldovan President Maia Sandu reacted to this.

A video was released showing the moment of the abduction. Subsequently, the Moldovan media, citing ‘Index’ Telegram channel, stated that Chaus had been taken to Ukraine in a Toyota RAV 4, which allegedly belonged to the Ukrainian embassy.

Later, the same channel reported that the military attaché of the embassy Serhii Smetaniuk was allegedly driving the Toyota RAV 4.

More details in ‘Bukvy’ article.