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Bihus.info said police opened case and questioned its journalists

21.02.2020, 13:59
PHoto credit: Bihus.info's Facebook page
PHoto credit: Bihus.info's Facebook page

The editorial office of Bihus.Info claimed that the police instituted criminal proceedings and questioned its journalists by investigating the property of the National Police, as Bihus.info reported.

As the journalists said the police probe was due to a journalistic investigation they made on the morning of February 13. The Main Investigative Directorate of the National Police started proceedings for “interference with the activities of a law enforcement officer” and “violation of privacy”.

The Bihus.Info reporters noticed that the first deputy head of the National Police, Yevgen Koval, was used to be picked up by the driver of an expensive SUV in the morning from home.

“Then, the journalists with Bihus.Info noticed that a Toyota Land Cruiser 200 entered the territory of a closed residential complex in Kyiv. Later, Yevgen Koval, who left one of the houses in this residential complex, took the car. At that time, the journalist was outside the residential complex in a public place and she fulfilled her professional duties, ” the edition  said.

A few minutes after, the car rode up to the journalist.

“Despite the fact that the journalist introduced herself, showed her press card and explained that she was to fulfil an editorial task, the policeman opened the journalists' car without asking any permission, took away the video camera from the car, demanded documents from the driver. At the same time, Koval himself did not even introduce himself despite the law on the police, although he explained his arbitrary actions by being a “police officer” and being anxious for his life, ” the editorial board said.

At the same time, the edition had to emphasize it separately, at that very moment, Koval already was aware that he was talking to the journalist of “Nashi Hroshi z Denysom Bihusom” (Our Money with Denis Bigus).

The journalist Maria Zemlyanska was interrogated on the third working day after the incident and lasted more than three hours.

The editorial notes that, although Zemlyanska was questioned as a witness, some questions did not directly relate to the incident. The National Police investigators were asking about different internal editorial processes, in particular the choice of the topic, sources of information, methods to treat the topics and places of storage of the captured video, relations within the editorial board.

They also summoned the project administrator and editor-in-chief for questioning.

Bihus.info considers the criminal proceedings to be meddling into activity of the editorial staff and pressure on the journalist who fulfils her professional activity.

“The very fact of filing complaint, even regarding the situation where the journalists’ activity was absolutely legitimate, this is Mr Koval's right. However, Bihus.info considers the criminal proceedings for legitimate taking of video in a public place by the Chief Investigative Directorate, and especially the nature and number of questions during the interrogation that did not relate to this shooting, as meddling into editorial board activity and pressure on a journalist who conducted her professional activity, ” - the message said.

The editorial board considers the actions of the first deputy head of the National Police Yevgen Koval, after the journalist named herself as arbitrariness (bursting into the car, demanding documents from the driver, etc.).

In this regard, the editorial office appealed to the State Bureau of Investigation.

The Head of the National Police Communications Department Oksana Blyshchyk told Media Detector that the proceedings had been instituted on February 13 after Koval submitted the report.

“The main investigative department has indeed started criminal proceedings on the video recording of Yevgen Koval near his place of residence. The fact is that he was repeatedly threatened and videotaped at his place of residence. He addressed a relevant report to the head of the National Police, outlining the facts. As a result, the decision was made to carry out the inspection, which was commissioned to the Chief Investigative Directorate, ” Blyshchyk said.

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