Court of Appeal upholds the judgement sentencing ex-official to 5,5 years in prison for assaulting a journalist
The Volyn Court of Appeal upheld the judgement of the first instance court, which sentenced Pidhaytsi Village Council ex-official Heorhiy Stefanesa to 5,5 years in prison for assaulting the journalist Lyudmyla Yavorska and embezzling budget funds.
The judgement was issued on December 14, as the victim journalist Lyudmyla Yavorska told the IMI representative in Volyn oblast.
According to the journalist, Stefanesa asked in the court of appeal to cancel the first instance ruling by the Lutsk City District Court.
"Appeal hearings were ongoing since the summer, but Stefanesa did not attend them, he always brought papers saying that he was ill. It was only in December, that he started attending the hearings. Today was the final meeting, where the court passed the judgement. They dismissed Stefanesa's appeal and, accordingly, upheld the first instance ruling. That sentence was 5,5 years in prison plus compensation of about one million hryvnias to the Village Council," Lyudmyla Yavorska said.
"Actually, Stefanesa was only present at the last two meetings. I tried to ask why he was not arrested and escorted away right in the courtroom. I would like to see it. As far as I understand, the procedure says that this ruling will be passed on to the Lutsk City District Court in the future, and that court will contact the service which enforces the sentence. Stefanesa will most likely appeal to some other courts, but these will already be parallel proceedings. The ruling has already entered into force, and the penalty must be enforced," she added.
As the IMI reported, on April 19, 2023, the Lutsk City District Court (Volyn oblast) convicted the former Pidhaytsi village council official, Heorhiy Stefanesa, for embezzling budget funds and assaulting the journalist Lyudmyla Yavorska, sentencing him to five and a half years in prison.
On January 4, 2021, in the village of Pidhaytsi, Volyn oblast, the project manager of the Pidhaytsi village council, Heorhiy Stefanesa, threw his fists at the reporter Lyudmila Yavorska, who came to thePidhaytsi village council to get comments from the deputies regarding the road works on one of the streets, as well as to file an information access request.
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