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Police officer who aggressed Bohdan Kutepov served with suspicion note

02.06.2021, 20:16
Photo credit: Screenshot from the video made by Serhiy Hryshyn
Photo credit: Screenshot from the video made by Serhiy Hryshyn

A policeman who hindered journalist for Hromadske Bohdan Kutepov in his work in April 2020 under the Cabinet of Ministers has been served with suspicion note. Kutepov's case was among those cases that IMI submitted to the Prosecutor General's Office on May 25.

As it is reported by the Kyiv City Prosecutor's Office on June 2, the suspect was charged with intentionally obstructing a journalist's lawful professional activity and damaging his property (Part 3, Article 171, Part 1, Article 347-1 of the Criminal Code) .

According to the investigation, on April 29, 2020, the journalist was covering a rally of small and medium-sized businesses near the Cabinet of Ministers building. Kutepov conducted a live broadcast with his mobile phone in front of the government building in the municipal park.

“At this time, an employee of the Kyiv Patrol Police Department of the National Police Patrol Police Department, being on duty to protect public order, without introducing himself and without explaining the legality of his demands, ordered the journalist to leave the park. After that, in violation of the Law of Ukraine "On the National Police", without warning about the use of physical force and giving time to fulfill their demands, he grabbed the latter by the sleeve and forcibly, against his will, pushed him to the park sidewalk, "the prosecutor's office said.

Later, the policeman, despite the journalist's remarks about obstructing him, "in order to stop the video recording he was making, knocked his mobile phone out of his hands, and broke the stabilizer on which it was attached."

According to the results of the pre-trial investigation, the policeman's actions were qualified as intentional obstruction of a journalist's legitimate professional activity committed by an official using his official position (Part 3 of Article 171 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine) and intentional damage to property belonging to a journalist. this journalist of lawful professional activity (Part 1 of Article 347-1 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine).

The pre-trial investigation is being conducted by investigators from the territorial department of State Bureau of Investigations in Kyiv. 

As IMI reported, on May 25, the Institute of Mass Information provided the Office of the Prosecutor General with a list of violations of journalists' rights for investigation and proposed to form a working group to achieve more progress of such investigations. The PGO has expressed its willingness to contribute to the investigations of the crimes against journalists.

The Prosecutor General's Office also promised to set up a working group with relevant NGOs and the media to investigate crimes against journalists. 

On April 29, 2020, As IMI reported, on April  29 under the Cabinet of Ministers in Kyiv; the police beat up a citizen journalist with Hromadske, who was on live standup and broke his equipment.

The Interior Ministry spokesman Artem Shevchenko said that the incident should be investigated in details.

Police probe into the circumstances of the incident involving the journalist with Hromadske Bohdan Kutepov in Mariinsky Park inKyiv.

Patrol police started an internal investigation over the police officer who attacked the journalist.

On April 29, investigators from the Main Investigation Department of the State Bureau of Investigation launched a pre-trial investigation into the attack on the journalist Bohdan Kutepov. 

The pre-trial investigation was initiated on the fact of abuse of power by a law enforcement officer, involving use of physical violence (Part 2 of Article 365 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine).

Earlier, BohdanKutepov said, he suspected that law enforcement bodies were trying to delay the investigation and that law enforcement agencies hardly communicated with him on the case.

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