Journalist for “Schemes” questioned within case of surveillance by Akhmetov's security guards
Photo credit: radiosvoboda.org (Radio Free Europe) On February 28th, the main investigation department of the National police questioned Mykhaylo Tkach, journalist for “Schemes: corruption in details” due to his complaint over obstruction to journalistic activity, as to the Radio Free Europe. At first, the investigators were intended to question him as a witness, but Oksana Maksymenyuk, his lawyer from the Institute for development of regional press insisted that the journalist had to be defined as an aggrieved party. “This is an important advantage, they defined Mykhaylo (Tkach) as an aggrieved party, because an aggrieved party has more rights: he is party to proceedings, he has right to get to know all materials in the case, to file complaints, statements and so on. The witness has no such rights, he is questioned and that is all. His activity within proceedings is restricted”, Oksana Maksymenyuk told. IMI reported that on February 21st, the editorial board of the investigative program “Schemes: corruption in details” (common project of the Radio Free Europe and TV channel UA: Pershyy) claimed that over past six months, its journalist Mykhaylo Tkach and the TV crew of the program were systematically followed by the security guards of the oligarch Rinat Akhmetov, as to Radio Free Europe. All cars that followed the TV crew belonged to the security company Delta-Donbas, final beneficiary of which is oligarch Rinat Akhmetov. “The editorial board made public this fact, as, firstly, we are unaware of the intentions these persons had and, secondly, we look forward that after we spoke on the pressure would be stoped and our journalists could work without obstructions, in particular, to scrutinize the relations of Rinat Akhmetov himself with Ukraine high-ranking officials”, Nataliya Sedletska, editor in chief of the investigative program. The security firm “Delta-Donbas” rejected the accusation they surveilled the TV crew of the program “Schemes”, as it is said in a reply to the letter sent by the TV channel “Ukraina”. Instead, the security firm blamed the journalists with intrusion to the privacy of Rinat Akhmetov and illegitimate fact finding. Also, the security firm claimed that during several last months, more than 200 times, some unknown person have been surveilling and filming with a disguised camera several objects controlled by the firm, it was the SCM office, a private residential property of stockholder without identifying themselves as journalists. The main investigative administration of police has instituted proceedings over the complaint filed by the journalists of the program “Schemes: corruption in details”.
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