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Suspilne Kropyvnytsky reporters prevented from attending a court hearing

19.04.2023, 16:01

On April 19, employees of the Kirovsky District Court of Kropyvnytsky prevented the Suspilne Kropyvnytsky film crew from attending an open court hearing. This was reported by the representative of IMI in the Kirovohrad region.

On this day, Judge Oleksiy Galagan was supposed to hear the case against Gas Distribution Networks employees whom the prosecution suspects of violating fire safety regulations, which caused a gas explosion in a high-rise building that killed a person.

Antonina Kreitor, head of the regional content production department at the Suspilne's Kropyvnytsky branch, told the IMI representative that Judge Galagan's secretary informed them that journalists would be invited to the courtroom at the start of the hearing. However, this did not happen. It was only after the fact that the journalists learned that the hearing had already been held, as the prosecutors working on this case started leaving the court.

"The court's manager Bohdan Onishchenko said that it was Judge Galagan's decision to not allow us to attend the hearing. In turn, Judge Galagan's secretary reported that Onishchenko, the manager, is the one who deals with reporter admission. We are currently preparing an appeal and an information request to the chair of the court in order to learn who gave the order not to admit journalists to an open hearing and on what grounds," Antonina Kreitor summarized.

The gas explosion in question occurred on February 2, 2022, in a high-rise building in Kropyvnytsky. It killed one of the house's residents. Another 71 people had to be evacuated from four damaged entrances. The prosecutors have initiated a probe under the article "Violation of legal fire safety requirements which led to the death of a person." Investigations and inspections have been ongoing until now.

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