Editor-in-chief of "Slidstvo.info" interrogated by police
The editor-in-chief of Slidstvo.info, Anna Babinets, was questioned in the morning of May 13 at the Main Investigation Department of the National Police as a witness in the case of possible surveillance of former US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Jovanovich, Slidstvo.Info reported.
“The interrogation lasted about half an hour, I answered all the investigator's questions. I do not have the right to give more details, but I was told that I am a witness in the case of surveillance of Marie Jovanovich, ” Anna Babinets said.
She also added that she did not dispose of any information in this case that could further the investigation. According to Babinets, the only thing that can allow the police to associate the agency's editor-in-chief and Slidstvo.Info by itself with this story is a request sent to MP Oleksandr Dubinsky last December regarding his contacts with American politicians. As to request of information, Slidstvo.Info must also answer the investigator's questions in writing.
"In fact, this is nonsense to summon a journalist for questioning only because of his request for information. I went to police just to show that we have nothing to hide. And that my non-appearance would not serve grounds for withdrawal of documents or searches in office of "Slidstvo.info", - Babinets told.
As IMI reported, the Main Investigation Department of the National Police subpoened Anna Babinets, editor-in-chief of the investigative journalism agency Slidstvo.info. She is to be audiotioned as a witness in connection with her inquiry addressed to MP from “Servant of the People” Oleksander Dubinsky, about his connections with Rudolf Giuliani, Donald Trump's lawyer.
The subpoena letter contains only the number of the criminal proceedings without details of the matter of the case. The letter mentioned also an offense stipulated by the Part 2 of the Art. 163 of the Criminal Code (violation of the secrecy of correspondence, telephone talks, wire or other correspondence transmitted by means of communication or through a computer).
Another letter signed by the investigator to Slidstva.Info, listed the questions the agency had to answer. These questions are related to a request for information sent by Slidstvo.Info to MP Dubinsky in December 2019. They referred to his possible meetings with those involved in the case of the impeachment of US President Donald Trump. In particular, about possible contacts with Rudolf Giuliani, Trump's personal lawyer. According to the agency, Interior Minister Arsen Avakov and 12 other officials received such a request.
“Since 17 years I have been working as a journalist, I have never been interrogated by the police for writing a request to a MP. But I will definitely go, with my lawyer. We will videotape everything and show how the Main Investigation Department investigates such high-profile cases as the request to the MP Oleksandr Dubinsky and interrogates investigative journalists, ”said Anna Babinets, adding that the agency will raise the profile of the case the widest possible both in Ukraine and at the international level.
As IMI reported, on March 4, "Slidstvo.Info" said they found criminal proceedings based on demand of the MP Oleksander Dubinsky was aiming to make pressure on journalists.
On March, IMI reported , the Council of Europe is concerned with the fact of pressure on Slidstvo.info journalists in Ukraine. The Platforme to promote protection of journalism and safety of journalists published an alert on judicial pressure the investigative journalists from Slidstvo.info are facing due to proceedings instituted against them by the MP Dubinsky. "The basis for the investigation are Freedom of Information (FOI) requests sent by the outlet in December 2019 to 14 current and former Ukrainian politicians, state agencies and officials, asking for details about the meetings between United States and Ukrainian officials. Among those contacted was Oleksandr Dubinsky, a Member of the Parliament of Ukraine from the ruling Servant of the People party", the plarform reported.
IMI reported, 3 March, the investigative journalistic agency "Investigation.Info” claimed criminal proceedings after the MP from ”Servant of the People” Oleksander Dubinsky’s complaint was to make pressure on them, as to the statement of "Slidtsvo. Info" on March 4.
"The Ministry of Internal Affairs has accepted for consideration the complaint of the MP from the party" Servant of People" Alexander Dubinsky about surveillance of US officials in Ukraine and is conducting a pre-trial investigation ", - the statement read.
On March 3, the Ministry of Internal Affairs said that the National Police was investigating criminal case based on materials that Oleksander Dubinsky had handed over to Interior Minister Arsene Avakov. Investigations was started under Part 2 of Art. 163 of the Criminal Code ("Violation of secrecy of correspondence, telephone conversations, telegraph or other correspondence transmitted by means of communication or through a computer").