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How do courts determine the amount of bail in corruption crimes?

Dmytro Nikiforov
Dmytro Nikiforov

Millions of bail reports for people who have committed corruption offenses often appear in the media. How are such amounts determined? What exactly does the court take into account? I propose to investigate the practice of the Supreme Anti-Corruption Court and find out what circumstances affect the determination of the amount of bail.

Also read: How to make bail in criminal proceedings? Step-by-step instructions

It is not without reason that I chose WACS to analyze the case law, as this court carefully examines all the criteria and assesses the risks to determine the amount of bail. Information from the Unified State Register of Court Decisions indicates that during its operation on September 5, 2019, the WACS considered 214 applications for the use of bail.

In addition, if the court chooses detention, it is also obliged to determine the amount of bail. That is why bail is actually the most popular precaution and should be investigated in more detail.

What criteria does the law contain?

The Code of Criminal Procedure establishes several criteria for determining the amount of bail: property status, marital status, other information about his identity, as well as the risks of concealment, destruction of evidence, influence on others, obstruction of the investigation or other criminal offenses.

The CCP also contains limits on the amount of bail depending on the gravity of the crime. In 2020, the following dimensions are set:

  • from UAH 2,102 to UAH 42,040 - for a crime of small or medium gravity;
  • from UAH 42,040 to UAH 168,160 - for a crime of small or medium gravity;
  • from UAH 168,160 to UAH 630,600 - for a particularly serious crime;
  • exceptional cases (if the pledge within the specified limits is not able to ensure the fulfillment of its obligations) - from UAH 630,600 without determining the maximum limit.

It is in exceptional cases that the investigation refers, substantiating millions of bail for suspects in corruption crimes. How do the defense and the prosecution justify these criteria? What does the court pay attention to?

Property Status

The general logic of taking into account this circumstance is as follows. If a person travels on charter planes, has real estate abroad, significant declared amounts, the application of bail of UAH 1 million to the state revenue in case of breach of duty will not be very significant, and therefore will not stimulate the court to perform its duties. appear before the investigator and the court. If it is about UAH 10 million or UAH 20 million, then the loss of such an amount will actually be important for the person and will deter from breach of duty.

Judges of the Supreme Anti-Corruption Court take into account the number of real estate and vehicles, the person's participation in the establishment and management of enterprises, the availability of significant amounts of declared funds (salaries, dividends, bank deposits), the frequency of border crossings at airports and the amount unlawful gain or loss.

For example, in the decision of 31.01.2020 in the case №991 / 979/20 the detective asked to determine the suspect's bail in the amount of UAH 40 million. To justify the reduction of the amount of bail, the court took into account the absence of border crossing by a person in 2019, the amount of illegal benefit provided in the amount of 50 thousand US dollars and set bail at UAH 19 million.

Marital status

If a person has minor children, spouse, incapacitated parents, this may indicate the need for their financial support. In the decisions of the WACS judge, when determining the amount of bail, they take into account the presence of minor children, husband / wife and reduce the bail in case of confirmation of such circumstances by evidence.

For example, in the decision of 24.01.2020 in the case №991 / 707/20 on 31.01.2020, the prosecutor asked to determine the suspect's bail in the amount of UAH 5 million. To justify the reduction of the amount of bail, the court took into account, in particular, the presence of the suspect's wife and two minor children, and set bail at UAH 168,160.

Other personal information

This category usually includes age, health status, strength of social ties, permanent employment, reputation, criminal record or other criminal offenses, compliance with the conditions of precautionary measures, if applicable, and the size damage.

In practice, judges rarely assess specific circumstances in this category, limiting themselves to statements such as "taking into account other personal data". However, the defense must refer to the presence or absence of circumstances, as the combination of such factors forms the inner conviction of the judge and will affect the amount of bail.


Risks mean the probable possibility of a person to obstruct the investigation: to hide, to destroy evidence, to influence other persons, to obstruct the investigation in another way, to commit other criminal offenses. Providing evidence of the presence / absence of risks also affects the judge's inner conviction in determining the amount of bail. For example, frequent border crossings may indicate the possibility of leaving the territory of the state and evading investigation. In one case, the investigator even referred to the presence of a civilian wife abroad, who may have real estate and to which the suspect may flee irretrievably.

In most cases, judges analyze each risk and assess the arguments of the parties. WACS judges drew attention to the following circumstances.

  • The risk of concealment was affected: severity of punishment, non-appearance of a person on summons to the investigator and court, real estate abroad or in the temporarily occupied territory, availability of a passport and length of stay abroad, communication with foreign citizens and officials in accordance with their powers or connections, residence of a person or relatives persons abroad.
  • The following circumstances testified to the illegal influence on witnesses: Witnesses were directly subordinate or friendly to the suspect, had close ties to law enforcement, witnesses testified about the influence of the suspect or other persons on his behalf, and one lawyer provided legal assistance to the suspect or other witnesses in the case.
  • Influence on things and documents: facts of destruction or concealment of material evidence, conversations with other persons, providing instructions on destruction or concealment of documents, duration of the investigation (if the investigation lasts 2 years, law enforcement officers had the opportunity to collect all evidence).
  • Other circumstances. Circumstances may be different in each case. For example, in decision 23.01.2020 №991 / 591/20 the WACS judge justified the risk of influence by finding in the phone of another accomplice photos of the investigating judge's decision to search, and therefore the suspect could warn other accomplices about the search, so they could prepare for a search and destroy / hide items and documents to avoid liability.

Regarding the commission of other offenses

WACS judges are skeptical of such arguments by investigators, detectives and prosecutors given the presumption of innocence and lack of evidence of wrongdoing. For example, the decision of the WACS dated 17.01.2020 №991 / 460/20 testifies to the judge's examination of the NAPC's conclusion based on the results of checking the person's declaration and identifying signs of declaring unreliable information (Articles 366-1 of the CPC of Ukraine). However, the court did not take this circumstance into account, because the crime was not proven, there is no conviction, and therefore this statement contradicts the provisions of Art. 62 of the Constitution of Ukraine.

How to act protection?

To reduce the amount of collateral, the defense must provide evidence that there is no risk. For example, provide evidence of the appearance of an investigator, the absence of a long stay abroad, the absence of any specific evidence of a person's influence on witnesses or attempts to destroy evidence.


It is worth remembering that each case is individual, so the defense must form the maximum evidence base in order to convince the court of the need to reduce the amount of bail. WACS judges usually analyze most of the arguments of the prosecution and the defense, assess them and determine the amount of bail, taking into account all the circumstances of the case.

The article was published in the prominent "Yurydychna Gazeta" dated April 28, 2020

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