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Photographer Lazebnyk, who was beaten in May, accused of beating by his aggressor

04.02.2013, 01:13
Vitaliy Lazebnyk, the photographer of edition, who was beaten in Peremohy Park in Kyiv on May 4, 2012, is now accused of beating, TV 5 Kanal reported.
According to Olena Vasylyaka, deputy chief of the press office of the Dniprovskiy police department of Kyiv, they received an application from a citizen who claims that he was beaten by a group of people, headed by Lazebnyk. However, the police spokes person refused to disclose the surname of the person who submitted the application.
TV 5 Kanal journalists found out that the application against Lazebnyk was written by the man who had beaten the journalist in May. In his application, the man claimed that it was the photographer who led a gang which demolished a church construction site in the park.
"When I first heard it, I could not speak ... How could I, being a journalist, lead the actions of people whom I do not even know, "- Lazebnyk commented on the application.
Photographer's lawyer Ludmyla Opryshko believes this statement is farfetched. "It was submitted nine months after the event itself. If people really suffered in that moment, they would have turned to police earlier. In my opinion, this person, in such a way, is trying to protect, "- she said.
As IMI reported earlier, on January 23, 2013, photo-journalist Vitaliy Lazebnyk got a telephone call from the Kyiv Dniprovskiy district police department, which invited the journalist to an interrogation, due to an application in which it was accused of assaulting a man in the Victory park in May of the last year, Lazebnik told the Stop Censorship! movement.

According to him, neither he, nor his lawyer Lyudmila Opryshko, will not be able to talk to the police on January 23, so the meeting was postponed to January 30. The information was confirmed by Dniprovskiy police department investigator Kostyantyn Bilaniuk.

"There are lots of photos and videos of the event, and the case has not yet reached the court. The most interesting thing is that now the director of the park [who beat the journalist during a protest action – ed.] accuses me of organizing the event, and that it was me who attacked him. Now, I’m accused of an attack on a person. I’m accused only because I came to work, I worked as a journalist, and I personally suffered while shooting. Of course, I insisted that the case be brought on Art. 171 of the Criminal Code, but prosecutors did not recognize me as a journalist, though I am a member of the media trade union, and it’s not the first year that I’m in the profession”, Lazebnyk says, adding that the police brought the case on Art. 125 of the Criminal Code (causing slight bodily injuries).

On September 17, police opened a criminal investigation into the beating of Vitaliy Lazebnyk, photographer of online-edition. Earlier, police opened a case on Article 296 of Part 2 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine - hooliganism committed by a group of persons.

On May 4, 2012 Vitaly Lazebnik was beaten by a man, probably, the director of Victory Kyiv park, when he was taking photos of a protest action against an illegal building in the park. 

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