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Slidstvo.Info to sue the Verkhovna Rada

15.03.2024, 11:19

The investigative journalism agency Slidstvo.Info filed a lawsuit the Apparatus of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on behalf of the journalist Ihor Yushchenko on March 12, 2024, for refusing to provide the public information he requested, the media outlet announced on their website.  

"Slidstvo.Info" journalists sent requests to the VRU Apparatus on January 2, 1, and 8, 2024, asking about the overseas business trips that the deputies went on after the full-scale invasion.

The editors received two identical replies saying that the requested information needed to be summarized and analytically processed, and as such was missing from the Verkhovna Rada Apparatus.

"...The document that would contain the information you requested is not created in the Apparatus of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine and is not in its possession, but can only be obtained by summarizing and analytically processing data. According to subparagraph 3 of paragraph 2 of the May 11, 2011 Decree No. 393 of the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, 'The Apparatus of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine is not the manager of information if the requested information... must be obtained by generalization, analytical data processing or needs to be created in another way,'" reads the reply to the journalists' request.

Photo by Slidstvo.Info

In their third reply, the Verkhovna Rada Apparatus abandoned their previous claims, instead saying that the dissemination of information about the work of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, its bodies and deputies was limited under martial law. The letter also says that the deputies' foreign visits have gained considerable importance.

"The negotiations and consultations with international partners resulted in an increase in the military and humanitarian aid, which is important for the country, as well as in laying the groundwork for economy stabilization and Ukraine's post-war reconstruction," the VRU said.

The Apparatus also remarked that sharing the requested information could be harmful to national security, which would significantly outweigh the public interest.

"Restricting such information is a proportionate measure to protect Ukraine's national security interests at the expense of the public interest that may arise in the society. The significant harm to national security caused by the dissemination of such information will significantly outweigh the public interest in receiving it," added the VRU Apparatus.

Photo by Slidstvo.Info

Slidstvo.Info reminds that in July 2023, their sources reported that Yuriy Aristov, 48, deputy chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on National Security, Defense and Intelligence, "Servant of the People" MP, was in the 5-star hotel Waldorf Astoria Maldives on the private island Ithaafushi, Maldives.

The journalists sent a request to learn how the deputy had crossed the Ukrainian border and whether his trip to the Maldives was a business trip. Despite the promise of the deputy's press secretary to answer the request within a few hours, the assistant and the deputy himself ignored the journalists' attempts to get answers to their questions.

Following the release of the "Slidstvo.Info" report, Yuriy Aristov submitted a resignation letter.

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