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Ukreximbank explained its reasons to reinstate assailants of Skhemy’s journalists

12.11.2021, 14:06
Screenshot from the Skhemy's video
Screenshot from the Skhemy's video

Ukreximbank officials said there were no legal grounds to suspend from duty Igor Telbizov, director of the banking security department, and Oleg Osipov, head of the internal security department, who aggressed the TV crew of the Skhemy program on October 4, despite their status as defendants in criminal proceedings. This was reported on the bank's website.

The Bank reminded that, according to the current labor and criminal procedure legislation, obtaining the status of a suspect / accused in criminal proceedings by an employee “is not a legal ground for their suspension from office or severance for them”. 

Given this, on November 9, Oleg Osipov and Igor Telbizov returned to their official duties. 

At the same time, the bank noted that for the period of the official investigation, they established idle hours (suspension from work) for them, without pay.

“The criminal proceedings on the grounds of the offense entailing criminal liability, whithin which Oleg Osipov and Igor Telbizov have the status of defendants are being considered by the Holosiivskyi District Court of Kyiv. According to the current criminal procedure legislation, the employer has no legal grounds to dismiss an employee because of his / her status as a defendant in criminal proceedings, ”the bank said.

The bank also said that Volodymyr Pikalov had been fired as director of the Information Policy Department.

As IMI reported, on November 11, it was known that two assailants who on order of Yevhen Metzger, the Chairman of the Board of Ukreximbank, used force against Skhemy’s journalists on October 4, were reinstated in their positions. Igor Telbizov, Director of the Banking Security Department of Ukreximbank, and Oleg Osipov, Head of the Bank's Internal Security Department, could return to work, as it was confirmed to Skhemy by several independent sources in Ukreximbank JSC.

As IMI reported, on November 2, law enforcement officers filed charging documents against four people suspected of obstructing the legitimate professional activities of journalists with “Skhemy”. 

The actions of two other employees of the bank, namely the head of the Department of Banking Security and the head of the Department of Internal Security of Civil Protection and Security of the bank are qualified by h.h. 1, 3 st. 171, part 1 of Art. 126 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine - illegal seizure of information the journalist collected and technical means he used for his professional activity, influencing in any form a journalist in order to prevent him from performing professional duties committed by an official using his official opinions; intentionally committing acts of violence that caused physical pain and did not cause bodily harm.

But then, the lawyer of the journalist and cameraman of "Skhemy" Anatoliy Popov claimed that the prosecutor's office sent to court the case files without key evidence which are the original audio recording of the incident and the video of the attack. 

 As IMI reported, on October 4 in Kyiv, employees of the state-owned Ukreximbank used brute force against  the film crew of "Skhemy" while recording an interview with the chairman of the financial institution Yevhen Metzher right in his office.

The Kyiv Police has initiated criminal proceedings for obstructing the professional activities of journalists of the “Schemes” program (Part 1 of Article 171 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine).

Ukreximbank accused “Skhemy” journalists of misappropriating information with limited access (banking secrecy) and violating the Code of Ethics for Ukrainian Journalists.

On October 4, journalists for “Skhemy”were summoned for questioning as victims to establish all the circumstances of the incident at Ukreximbank during a recording of an interview with Chairman of the Board Yevhen Metzher.

On October 4, the editorial board of "Skhemy" managed to restore the video deleted by Ukreximbank employees during the attack on the film crew in the office of the head of the state bank Yevhen Metzher.

On October 5, the Supervisory Board of Ukreximbank announced that it had begun investigating the circumstances of the conflict with “Schemy” journalists.

On October 6, Ukreximbank's Chairman of the Board Yevhen Metzher said he would step down from office during the police investigation and an internal bank investigation into the conflict with “Skhemy” journalists.

On October 6, Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova said that the Office of the Prosecutor General would not cover for the actions of employees of the state-owned Ukreximbank who attacked the TV crew of the "Skhemy" program. The person in charge will be notified of the suspicion.

On October 6, the Supervisory Board of Ukreximbank decided to suspend the Chairman of the Board of Ukreximbank Yevhen Metzher from the exercise of his powers for the duration of the internal investigation.

On October 6, police officers requalified the case on the grounds of a crime under Part 3 of Art. 171 of the Criminal code of Ukraine (Obstruction of lawful professional activity of journalists by an officer). The initial registration at the request of journalists was under Part 1 of Art. 171 (obstruction by denial of access, seizure of equipement, illegitimate ban to cover some issues and so on).

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