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Zhytomyr court dismisses prosecutors' appeal asking to convict a man for threatening a journalist

21.09.2023, 16:47
The moment of the attack. Screenshot from a video by Antirating
The moment of the attack. Screenshot from a video by Antirating

On September 19, the Zhytomyr Court of Appeal dismissed the prosecutors' appeal in the case for obstruction and threats against Oleksandr Kryzhanivsky, a journalist for the investigative program "Antirating".

The spokeswoman for the Zhytomyr Oblast Prosecutor's Office, Tetyana Gosha, reported this to the IMI representative in Zhytomyr oblast.

According to the spokeswoman, the prosecutors asked for the previous (August 23, 2023) ruling by the Korolyovsky District Court of Zhytomyr, which acquitted the security guard accused of obstructing and threatening journalist Oleksandr Kryzhanivsky, to be cancelled.

The prosecutors asked for a new verdict that would convict the accused.

The injured journalist, Oleksandr Kryzhanivsky, told the IMI representative that it was essential for him to ensure that the attacker was punished specifically for obstructing the journalist's professional work.

"The court of appeal decided that attacking journalists is acceptable. It seems that it takes a broken skull or at least an arm for such actions to be recognized as obstruction to journalistic work," said Oleksandr Kryzhanivsky.

"The appeal was filed because, according to the prosecutor, Pavlenko (the attacker. – Ed.) was aware that he was attacking a journalist. In his testimony he admitted that he had been aware that they were being filmed and what they were filming (this is all in the interrogation transcripts), but in court he 'changed his mind'. They could have punished him for hooliganism, but this was not included in the indictment. He admits that the event took place, says that he regrets it, but assures that he did not realize that they were journalists," the journalist added.

As reported, on August 19, 2021, in Zhytomyr, during the filming of the journalist investigation program "Antirating," a security guard of the private buildings on the Teteriv riverbank attacked journalist Oleksandr Kryzhanivsky with his fists and threatened him. The attack was filmed.

Zhytomyr District Prosecutor's Office has opened a criminal investigation into the threat of violence against journalists (Part 1 of Article 345-1 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine).

According to the Korolyovsky District Court ruling, the accused claimed that he did not know that the victim was a journalist, since he had not identified himself, had not shown his ID, and hadn't had a press card on his clothes.

Instead, the victim believes that the security guard could have told that he was a journalist, because during the phone conversation that was happening in his presence, Kryzhanivsky called himself "editor."

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