Prosecutors explain why the man convicted of death threats to Inna Biletska was acquitted
The proceedings in the case over death threats to journalist Inna Biletska were closed due to the expiration of the statute of limitations for prosecuting the defendant, Andriy Buzynarsky. Over five years have passed since he threatened the journalist (in 2018). The law provides only five years for the court to decide on the penalty in such cases, as the Rivne Oblast Prosecutor's Office spokeswoman Oksana Zhuzhelska told the IMI representative.
According to the spokeswoman, the crime provided for in Art. 345-1 "Death threats or violence against a journalist", which Andriy Buzynarsky was accused of committing, is consideted a minor crime.
"As required by Clause 3, Part 1, Art. 49 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine, a person is released from criminal liability if five years have passed between the date when the crime was committed an the date of the sentence entering into force (in the case of a minor crime). According to the court, the crime which the defendant was being charged with was committed in August 2018, meaning that over five years have passed since then. Accordingly, the statute of limitations for bringing a person to criminal responsibility has expired," the spokeswoman said.
According to her, the court hearings in the case were postponed for various reasons, which the court considered "vaild, there was no unjustified postponement of court hearings."
We will remind you that on January 10, 2024, the Rivne City Court acquitted Andriy Buzynarsky, who had been charged with death threats to journalist Inna Biletska. The court also closed the proceedings in the case, which the prosecutor's office did not object to.
On August 11, 2018, in Rivne, Andriy Buzynarsky, son of then-prominent politician and Viktor Medvedchuk's associate Mykhailo Buzynarsky, threatened TRC UA:Rivne journalist and producer Inna Biletska, who was filming a car accident, with physical violence. Buzynarsky Jr. had caused the accident. He told the journalist the following: "You will be a corpse at best, a cripple at worst. You have any children?"
The police added the information on the incident into the Unified Register of Pretrial Investigations under Part 1 of Article 345-1 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine ("Threat or violence against a journalist"). Later, the investigator probing the case died, essentially halting the progress until June 2021.
Over three years after the case was opened, IMI learned that the police and the prosecutors were giving contradictory statements and shifting the blame onto each other.
In September 2022, the Rivne District Prosecutor's Office notified Andriy Buzynarsky of suspicion for assaulting against a journalist; the search for another suspect, who was hiding from the investigation, continued. Later, Buzynarsky was detained and placed in a pre-trial detention center. In October 2022, the prosecutors submitted an indictment to court.
Andiry Buzynarsky joined the National Guard of Ukraine while his case was being tried.
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