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Zhytomyr journalist Oleksandr Kryzhanivsky's assault case reaches the Supreme Court

11.01.2024, 17:20

The Cassation Criminal Court of the Supreme Court has opened cassation proceedings in the case of an assault on a journalist of the investigative program "Antirating", which occurred in August 2021.

This was reported to the IMI representative in the Zhytomyr oblast by the journalist Oleksandr Kryzhanivsky. He learned about the proceedings by receiving a copy of the Supreme Court's ruling through mail.

The Supreme Court opened cassation proceedings after a cassation appeal filed by the Zhytomyr oblast prosecutor. The prosecutor's office is appealing the September 19, 2023 ruling by the Zhytomyr Court of Appeal (at that time, the prosecutors were asking to cancel the judgement by the Korolev District Court of Zhytomyr city, which on August 23, 2023 found the security guard of obstructing the work of the journalist Oleksandr Kryzhanivsky innocent and acquitted him).

The victim, Oleksandr Kryzhanivsky, told the IMI representative that it was crucial for him that the attacker be punished specifically for obstructing a journalist's professional work. But following the ruling by the court of appeal, which dismissed the appeal, he decided to stop fighting, because he spent a lot of time and money on the litigation.

"A one-time trip from Kyiv to Zhytomyr for a trial costs about UAH 1,500. Considering that there were dozens of hearings, I spent 10–15 thousand hryvnias on these trips alone. I hope that MP Moyseyev and other estate owners spent no less on the lawyer and other things. I have now retired from journalism. I will not try to appeal the judgement, because the fact that it reached the second instance court is surprising in itself. A conclusion-slash-piece of advice from me: if someone assaults you, then unless your equipment or body is broken, do not waste time on the police and courts", commented Oleksandr Kryzhanivsky to the IMI representative in December.

The press office of the Zhytomyr oblast prosecutor confirmed that they have filed a cassation appeal and are waiting for a "fair judgement."

As previously 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 incident was filmed on video.

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).

The Korolovsky District Court of Zhytomyr declared the security guard accused of obstructing the work of "Antirating" investigation program journalist Oleksandr Kryzhanivsky and threatening him innocent and acquitted him. According to the 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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