Court authorized SBI to get access to internal communications and other data of journalists with “Schemes”
On October 17, the Pecherskyi District Court in Kyiv has authorized to the State Bureau of Investigations to get temporary access to internal communications of the journalists of “ Schemes: Corruption in Details” program, who were preparing an investigation into “Mr. Petro Incognito ”(about Petro Poroshenko's secret vacation in the Maldives, published in January 2018 by Mykhaylo Tkach and Natalka Sedletska), as Radio Liberty reported.
In addition, investigators were granted access to a range of other in-house editorial data - working hours of journalists, cameramen and drivers, and some data relative to their remuneration.
The court issued that decision in the context of a pre-trial criminal investigation held by the State Bureau of Investigation into alleged "unlawful crossing the state border by some persons" - the ex-president of Ukraine in particular, - "with deliberately forged documents".
The term of validity of that decision is one month. According to the court's decision, if the editorial board fails to provide the above-mentioned elements to the police, the court "has right to issue a ruling to authorize search and seizure of the said items and documents" , at the request of the investigators of the SBI.
The list of data that journalists are required to submit to the SBI is as follows:
- all footage;
- requests for information and responses to them sent and received during the preparation of the said program;
- possible documentary materials confirming the presence (accounting of working hours, tasks, accounting documents on payment of monetary remuneration for performing tasks, editorial tasks, payment for transport services, car vouchers) of involved journalists, cameramen, drivers and other employees during the shooting of material, including those in the evening and night shift (incl. 08.01.2018) for the specified program;
- other available documentary material pertaining to the said television program (business memos, notices, broadcasting approvals, editing, approval of the television program text, editing, reviews, objections, etc.).
The ruling of the Pechersk District Court of Kyiv also mentions that it is not subject to appeal.
As the editorial board reminded, on August 6 the SBI reported that they were investigating alleged facts of organizing an illegal crossing of Ukraine state border by the former president of Ukraine. Pre-trial investigations is made relative to following offenses “official forgery”, “unlawful crossing of the state border of Ukraine”, “use of knowingly forged document”.
The name of the former president was not mentioned in the message, however, Radio Svoboda became aware that it was question of Petro Poroshenko. The case concerns his holiday in the Maldives in January 2018, which was reported by “Schemes” reporters in his investigation into “ Mr. Petro Incognito. President Poroshenko 's secret vacation . "
According to the investigation, an unannounced presidential vacation, which lasted from January 1 to January 8, together with the flight, totaled at least $ 500,000, which amounted to over 14 million hryvnias.
Journalists of the program supposed that the President Petro Poroshenko with his friends could fly to the Maldives under fictitious names and do not pass passport and customs control.
At the same time, Petro Poroshenko stressed that he crossed the border by his last name, "according to his passport, with proper registration at the border guards".