Pryamyy TV claimed SBI eavesdropped on its employees and director general
Pryamyy TV channel claimed that the State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) has started eavesdropping its staff as the Pryamyy reported.
The broadcaster got to know about eavesdropping from its own sources. According to the channel's insiders, the SBI even has a relevant court decision that allows wiretapping journalists. However, the broadcaster noted there was no information on such decision in the unified register of pre-trial investigations.
Among those who are followed around the clock is Volodymyr Stashevskyi, the channel's general director.
“We work in good faith. And this eavesdropping is just another attempt to put pressure on the TV channel, ” as Volodymyr Stashevskyi said.
The SBI press service did not respond to phone calls and information requests.
As IMI reported, on 30 November the “Pryamyy” TV channel reported that the Pechersk District Court has allowed searches of its office.
Also, according to Pryamyy, the criminal proceedings over the purchase and sale of the channel were extended for another year.
The channel noted that "such actions of the court and law enforcement agencies, represented by the State Bureau of Investigation, are considered by the"Pryamyy "team as an attempt to influence the work of the TV channel and pressure on freedom of speech."
As IMI reported, on November 7, 2019, "Pryamyy" claimed that the residence place of the owner of the TV channel Volodymyr Makeyenko was being searched.
The State Bureau of Investigation replied that searches of Makeenko were part of criminal proceedings for the purchase and sale of the canal.
The SBI investigated in a criminal case the possible abuse of former President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko during the purchase and sale of the TV channel. Criminal proceedings were instituted at the request of Andriy Portnov, ex-deputy head of the Viktor Yanukovych Presidential Administration. The channel decided to hold the marathon after the statement of the Chief Investigator of the State Bureau of Investigation Oleh Koretsky, who was probing into the case on alleged evasion and further legalization (laundering) of benefits, obtained criminally during the transaction of purchase and sale of "Pryamyy" TV channel. The day before, he said that the State Bureau’s i nvestigators had been under pressure for more than three months.
On March 3, 2020, Pryamy TV Channel was to provide the investigators of the State Bureau of Investigations (SBI) with access to things and documents (with the possibility of its seizure) until 18 of March, as Pryamy TV channel reported with reference to the order issued by the Pechersk District Court of Kyiv they received on 3 of March.
On July 9, 2020, the Pryamiy TV channel claimed being under pressure of State Bureau of Investigation (SBI). “The current government launched a new attack against Pryamyy TV channel with the help of the SBI in order to close the channel. Apparently, the TV channel spoke too loudly and too directly. The broadcaster is under strong pressure from the authorities, and this can be assurely seen as crackdown on freedom of speech in Ukraine. That is why journalists, presenters and employees of the channel now feel more acutely than ever that Pryamy is being besieged, - the joint statement of the TV presenters reads. "Those whom we disturb, please come to our studio and say it on live!"
On July 21, 2020, Pryamiy TV channel in an open letter called on Ukrainians to respond to pressure and attacks on the TV channel by the State Bureau of Investigation and the National Council on Television and Radio Broadcasting.
On September 2, 2020, the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Freedom of Speech approved an appeal to the State Bureau of Investigation calling for respect for all the rights of journalists and the impossibility of terminating the broadcasting of the Pryamiy TV channel during investigative actions around it.