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IMI lawyer called the SBI's actions against Butusov pressure

29.11.2021, 14:17
Press service of Office of Kyiv Public Prosecutor
Press service of Office of Kyiv Public Prosecutor

Media lawyer with the Institute of Mass Information called the actions of the State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) toi be pressure on the editor-in-chief of Censor.net Yuriy Butusov. Ali Safarov found that this shows signs of obstruction of the journalist's work, which is a criminal offense under Article 171 (2) of the Criminal Code. He told about this speaking to Detektor Media about this.

“Any government body, including an investigative body, must act within the law (part 2 of Article 19 of the Constitution of Ukraine). The State Bureau of Investigation is a body of pre-trial investigation. It is entitled to conduct a pre-trial investigation, but in strict compliance with the Criminal Procedure Code. The SBI does not provide for "checking the legality of the posted photos, videos, etc." All investigative actions, in accordance with Article 214 of the Criminal Procedure Code, may be conducted only after the event is registered in the Unified Register of Pre-trial Investigations. And this is not an "inspection", but rather investigative actions: interrogations, examinations, etc., " as Ali Safarov said.

According to the lawyer, the SBI was not entitled to disclose the name of a person suspected of committing criminal offenses, so it is impossible to combine in one post "verification under the articles of the Criminal Code of Ukraine" and the name of a precise journalist Butusov, this is forbidden by the Civil Code and other laws. The fact or absence of corpus delicti shall be proved in accordance with the established procedure. "

Safarov stressed that the articles mentioned in the SBI report were Article 414 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine (“Violation of the rules of handling weapons, as well as substances and objects that pose an increased danger to the surroundings”) and Article 437 of the Criminal Code (“Planning, preparation, unleashing and waging a war of aggressiion”) - do not apply to civilians at all, unless there are some additional circumstances.

“The very announcement on the SBI’s webpage about the beginning of the "fact check" can be considered as pressure on journalist Butusov. Such pressure on a journalist has signs of a criminal violation in accordance with part two of Article 171 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine, ”Ali Safarov said.

As IMI reported, on November 28, State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) has launched crimininal proceedings over the video shot by the  editor-in-chief of Censor.net Yuriy Butusov. Investigators consider a video posted on November 27 by Yuriy Butusov on his Facebook page, showing him firing a howitzer.

In the video, the journalist fires a 152-mm D-20 howitzer with the words: "Fire on the occupiers!" Yuriy Butusov later added that the video was shot a long time ago and during a training.

For his part, Yuri Butusov found that in this way, the President Volodymyr Zelensky took revenge on him "for his shameful press conference."

As IMI reported, on November 26, the President Volodymyr Zelensky accused the editor-in-chief of Censor.net of deaths in Donbas due to publication of a video of a Bayraktar drone. Yuriy Butusov replied to the head of state, saying he lied.

After the press marathon, Yuriy Butusov said he would sue the President Volodymyr Zelensky for slander.

On November 29, IMI reported, Oleksiy Arestovych, the speaker of the Ukrainian delegation to the Trilateral Contact Group and a supernumerary adviser to the head of the President's Office, believes that Censor.net editor-in-chief Yuriy Butusov could be killed, so he will ask for state protection for the journalist. “... Butusov is being driven up as a sacred victim, he has already been planned as another Gongadze.”(…) At such rate, it is left a very short time for him - every day counts, a maximum - a week. He will be wiped out by those who are drumming him into. And this, according to the plan, will be a signal to start mass riots, amid a sincere indignation of citizens. And all this against the background of the build-up of Russian troops at the border. Is the scenario clear, isn’t ? The perfect ball game for Russia”, as Arestovych said.

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