The editorial board of the investigative program “Schemes: corruption in details” (common project of the Radio Free Europe and TV channel UA: Pershyy) claims that during last six months, its journalist Mykhaylo Tkach and the TV crew of the program are systematically followed by the security guards of the oligarch Rinat Akhmetov, as to Radio Free Europe.
Since September 2018, several same cars are regularly following the car of the program, as the TV crew is to go on a mission. The surveillance is conducted as in the government quarters in Kyiv and outside the city and near the Zhulyany airport.
All cars that follow the TV crew belong to the security company Delta-Donbas, final beneficiary of which is oligarch Rinat Akhmetov.
“The editorial board is convinced that such activity is aimed to impede our work. As in the past, more than once we had been speaking of relations of the oligarch Rinat Akhmetov himself, of that how he preserved his standing under post-Maydan government and we go on recording his non-public contacts with the country leaders”, the editorial board of “Schemes” informed.
“The editorial board made public this fact, as, firstly, we are unaware of the intentions these persons had and, secondly, we look forward that after we spoke on the pressure would be stoped and our journalists could work without obstructions, in particular, to scrutinize the relations of Rinat Akhmetov himself with Ukraine high-ranking officials”, Nataliya Sedletska, editor in chief of the investigative program.
By request of the program “Schemes”, the media lawyers watched with video records of the cars following the TV crew. As to the media lawyers, there are the signs of obstruction to professional activity of journalist, what entails the criminal liability.
“As the journalistic crew is working and makes journalistic investigation or film, such continuous surveillance could be a form of moral psychological influence aiming to impede the journalists to film some materials”, as Taras Shevchenko, Director of the center for democracy and rule of law told.
“One could file a complaint in conformity to the part 2nd of the article 171 of the Criminal code of Ukraine which supposes the influencing the work of the journalist aiming to obstruct his professional activity”, as Ludmyla Pankratova, lawyer of the Institute of development of regional press told.
The editorial board of “Schemes” appealed to the press-service of Rinat Akhmetov, asking what is the reason of this surveillance. No reply has been received until the publication came out.
We should remind, in 2016, the “Schemes” came out with a story on night visits of Rinat Akhmetov to the Head of state and the Prime Minister.