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Trial on death threats to "Poltavska Khvylia" journalist begins

05.02.2024, 11:41
Poltava court begins trial on death threats to "Poltavska Khvylia" journalist, February 1. Photo by Nadia Kucher
Poltava court begins trial on death threats to "Poltavska Khvylia" journalist, February 1. Photo by Nadia Kucher

Oktyabrsky District Court (Poltava) has begun a trial on death threats to "Poltavska Khvylia" journalist Anastasiya Matsko by District Council deputy and deputy chair, Serhiy Boyko. The first preparatory hearing was held on February 1, reports the regional IMI representative, who attended the session.

The issue of assigning the case to trial was resolved at the hearing. The prosecutor's office representative asked the court to appoint a trial of the indictment against suspect Serhiy Boyko.

The prosecutor's office also filed a motion to extend Boyko's remand term, which had expired by the time the case was being tried in court. The court supported the motion and prolonged the restraint period.

Anastasia Matsko's lawyer, Dmytro Semekha, says he had filed a similar motion. He submitted a request for the case to be tried in a reasonably short time, arguing that the pre-trial investigation was long. Moreover, the journalist and her lawyer submitted a petition to the court to add Serhiy Boyko's data posted on the "Myrotvorets" website to the case file. The prosecutors called this motion premature at this stage of the trial and suggested that the descriptive materials be attached later. The court recognized the motion as premature and decided to add it to the indictment at the evidence investigation stage.

The next hearing is scheduled for February 12.

​As reported, Anastasia Matsko, a journalist at the online publication "Poltava Wave", has said that district council deputy, Serhiy Boyko, and the head of the welfare inspection, Maksym Malko, threatened her during the March 29 City Council session. The police opened a case for Part 2 of Article 171 ("Obstructing the legal professional work of journalists, influencing a journalist in any way with the purpose of preventing them from fulfilling their professional duties, or persecuting a journalist in connection with their legal professional work") of the Criminal Code of Ukraine. Later, the journalist's lawyer, Dmytro Semekha, requested that the Poltava police reclassify the case as threats instead of obstruction. On May 29, Matsko and her lawyer filed a complaint with the Prosecutor General's Office due to the police's inaction. Two forensic examinations confirmed that the journalist received death threats, but the work of the prosecutors' remained insufficient, in her opinion. On November 7, 2023, the deputy received a suspicion notice under Part 1 of Article 345-1 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine (threats or violence against a journalist).

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