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Accused of assault on Skhemy pled not guilty

30.11.2021, 15:21
RFE/RL
RFE/RL

Four people accused of assault made on TV crew with Skhemy program plead not guilty. They said this in the Holosiivskyi District Court of Kyiv, where the preparatory hearing in the case ended on November 30, as Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reported.

The defendants pleaded not guilty after the charges issued by the prosecutor. The actions of the former chairman of the bank Yevhen Metzher and his press secretary Volodymyr Pikalov are qualified under Article 171 of the Criminal Code ("illegal seizure of information the journalist collected and technical means he used for his professional activity, preventing journalist from performing his professional duties committed by an official using his official position").

The actions of Igor Telbizov and Oleg Osipov were classified under two criminal articles: the same 171st and 121st ("Intentional acts of violence that caused physical pain and did not cause bodily harm").

As IMI reported, on November 29, the Holosiivskyi District Court of Kyiv held the first preparatory hearing in the case of the assault on journalists for Skhemy program at Ukreximbank.

 As IMI reported, on October 4 in Kyiv, employees of the state-owned Ukreximbank used brute force against  the film crew of "Skhemy" while recording an interview with the chairman of the financial institution Yevhen Metzher right in his office.

The Kyiv Police has initiated criminal proceedings for obstructing the professional activities of journalists of the “Schemes” program (Part 1 of Article 171 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine).

Ukreximbank accused “Skhemy” journalists of misappropriating information with limited access (banking secrecy) and violating the Code of Ethics for Ukrainian Journalists.

On October 4, journalists for “Skhemy”were summoned for questioning as victims to establish all the circumstances of the incident at Ukreximbank during a recording of an interview with Chairman of the Board Yevhen Metzher.

On October 4, the editorial board of "Skhemy" managed to restore the video deleted by Ukreximbank employees during the attack on the film crew in the office of the head of the state bank Yevhen Metzher.

On October 5, the Supervisory Board of Ukreximbank announced that it had begun investigating the circumstances of the conflict with “Schemy” journalists.

On October 6, Ukreximbank's Chairman of the Board Yevhen Metzher said he would step down from office during the police investigation and an internal bank investigation into the conflict with “Skhemy” journalists.

On October 6, Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova said that the Office of the Prosecutor General would not cover for the actions of employees of the state-owned Ukreximbank who attacked the TV crew of the "Skhemy" program. The person in charge will be notified of the suspicion.

On October 6, the Supervisory Board of Ukreximbank decided to suspend the Chairman of the Board of Ukreximbank Yevhen Metzher from the exercise of his powers for the duration of the internal investigation.

On October 6, police officers requalified the case on the grounds of a crime under Part 3 of Art. 171 of the Criminal code of Ukraine (Obstruction of lawful professional activity of journalists by an officer). The initial registration at the request of journalists was under Part 1 of Art. 171 (obstruction by denial of access, seizure of equipement, illegitimate ban to cover some issues and so on).

As IMI reported, on November 2, law enforcement officers filed charging documents against four people suspected of obstructing the legitimate professional activities of journalists with “Skhemy”. 

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