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Journalists of Skhemy testified at bar on attack in Ukreximbank

18.01.2022, 16:46
RFE/RL
RFE/RL

The hearing in the case of the attack in Ukreximbank on the TV crew of Skhemy program was held in Holosiivskyi District Court in Kyiv on January 17. The judges heard the victims, as Radio Free Europe/Radio liberty reported.

The journalist Kyrylo Ovsyany and the cameraman Oleksander Mazur testified about what exactly happened in the office of Ukreximbank Chairman of the Board Yevhen Metzger on October 4, 2021.

The victims also answered some additional questions from the defendants' lawyers: former Ukreximbank chairman Yevhen Metzger, ex-director of the bank's information policy department Volodymyr Pikalov, former director of the bank's security department Igor Telbizov and head of Ukreximbank's internal security department Oleg Osipov. None of them admits their guilt.

Victims also challenge the unjustified closure of criminal proceedings under the most severe, Article 146 of the Criminal Code ("Unlawful deprivation of liberty or kidnapping"), which provides for restriction of liberty for up to three years or imprisonment for the same term.

"Victims will ask about additional evidence to be joined to the case that the investigation had failed to get. In February, we expect some progress under the Article 146, which was closed by the prosecutor. I hope we will return to the investigation under this article. And this may be determinative for whether they will be jailed, "- said the defender of journalists Anatoly Popov.

The next hearing in the case is scheduled for February 9.

As reported by IMI, on October 4, 2021 in Kyiv, employees of the state-owned Ukreximbank attacked the camera crew of "Schemes" while recording an interview with the chairman of the financial institution Eugene Metzger right in his office. After being asked about the loan to DNR-linked entities, Metzger ordered the cameras to be confiscated from journalists, videos of 

 As IMI reported, on October 4 in Kyiv, employees of the state-owned Ukreximbank used brute force against  the film crew of "Skhemy" while recording an interview with the chairman of the financial institution Yevhen Metzher right in his office.

The Kyiv Police has initiated criminal proceedings for obstructing the professional activities of journalists of the “Schemes” program (Part 1 of Article 171 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine).

Ukreximbank accused “Skhemy” journalists of misappropriating information with limited access (banking secrecy) and violating the Code of Ethics for Ukrainian Journalists.

On October 4, journalists for “Skhemy”were summoned for questioning as victims to establish all the circumstances of the incident at Ukreximbank during a recording of an interview with Chairman of the Board Yevhen Metzher.

On October 4, the editorial board of "Skhemy" managed to restore the video deleted by Ukreximbank employees during the attack on the film crew in the office of the head of the state bank Yevhen Metzher.

On October 5, the Supervisory Board of Ukreximbank announced that it had begun investigating the circumstances of the conflict with “Schemy” journalists.

On October 6, Ukreximbank's Chairman of the Board Yevhen Metzher said he would step down from office during the police investigation and an internal bank investigation into the conflict with “Skhemy” journalists.

On October 6, Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova said that the Office of the Prosecutor General would not cover for the actions of employees of the state-owned Ukreximbank who attacked the TV crew of the "Skhemy" program. The person in charge will be notified of the suspicion.

On October 6, the Supervisory Board of Ukreximbank decided to suspend the Chairman of the Board of Ukreximbank Yevhen Metzher from the exercise of his powers for the duration of the internal investigation.

On October 6, police officers requalified the case on the grounds of a crime under Part 3 of Art. 171 of the Criminal code of Ukraine (Obstruction of lawful professional activity of journalists by an officer). The initial registration at the request of journalists was under Part 1 of Art. 171 (obstruction by denial of access, seizure of equipement, illegitimate ban to cover some issues and so on).

As IMI reported, on November 2, law enforcement officers filed charging documents against four people suspected of obstructing the legitimate professional activities of journalists with “Skhemy”. 

As IMI reported, on November 29, the Holosiivskyi District Court of Kyiv held the first preparatory hearing in the case of the assault on journalists for Skhemy program at Ukreximbank.

As IMI reported, four people accused of assault made on TV crew with Skhemy program plead not guilty. They said this in the Holosiivskyi District Court of Kyiv, where the preparatory hearing in the case ended on November 30.

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