SBU investigates within criminal proceedings over “112 Ukraina” TV channel
Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) has initiated criminal proceedings over owvnership of the “112 Ukraina” TV channel, as theBabel web-based edition reported. The investigation was started due to complaint from its former nominal owner Andriy Podshchikov, who recently came back to Ukraine, as to the sources of information. Furtherly, the property of the channel may be placed under arrest and transferred to new owners. In July 2019, Podshchikov unexpectedly appealed to the newly elected president Volodymyr Zelensky, via a YouTube video . He called himself being the only legitimate owner of the channel,claimed about the "raider take-over" and demanded to bring to accout Eduard Katz, Taras Kozak and Oleksandr Onyshchenko, who allegedly had negotiated the purchase of the channel on behalf of Poroshenko. According to theBabel’s sources, the SBU is probing into the facts of counteraction to legal business activity (article 206 of the Criminal code). As part of the investigation, the SBU asked the Prosecutor General's Office (PGO) to file a motion to seize the property of the channel, but the Prosecutor general Yuriy Lutsenko, according to a source in his environment, rejected that demand. As the source claims, the PGO which takes the case under its control, is going to transfer proceedings to the Ministry of internal affairs, since that offense is not under the SBU’s jurisdiction. A.i. head of SBU Ivan Bakanov neither confirmed nor denied this report, referring to secrecy of the investigation. Lutsenko answered theBabel: “My stance is that one cannot place the media under the arrest, unless it is not question of high treason or threat to territorial integrity. Anything else is unacceptable for the democracy. I have professed this principle as to “1+1″ TV channel, so I do the same”. According theBabel’s sources, that the head of the Office of the President, Andriy Bogdan, is behind both Podshchykov's video and criminal proceedings as to “112 Ukraina” TV channel. He would aim to get control over high-rated news channel and to bring it out from the influence of Putin’s ally, Viktor Medvedchuk. If the future Prosecutor general seizes the property of “112 Ukraina’, the Asset recovery and management agency (ARMA) will be entitled to transfer the property to a company that wins the relevant competition. As for now, no such competition has been announced, the names of the applicant companies are unknown as well, as to theBabel.
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