112 Ukraine’s statement: SBU tries raiding TV channel under President’s direct orders
Shevchenkivsky district court of Kyiv refused to grant the motion of the SBU (State Security Service) and prosecutor’s office, as they sought the arrest of corporative rights of 112 Ukraine TV channel. It is reported by Upmp.news with reference to 112 Ukraine.
The staff of 112 Ukraine TV channel considers SBU’s particular appeal to the court an another attempt to raid the channel’s property, which is conducted under a direct order of President Volodymyr Zelensky. The medium is confident that the said actions of the government are totally illegal.
Since Volodymyr Zelensky came to power, a criminal proceeding № 42019000000001445 was opened against 112 Ukraine, NewsOne TV channels and their owner, opposition MP Taras Kozak, so as to apply pressure on them. Within the frameworks of this case, law enforcers conduct an illegal, politically motivated investigation.
The attempt of a raid on 112 Ukraine TV channel was conducted under the order of President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky. State Security Service and Office of Prosecutor General that are subordinate to the President got the respective instructions.
As a result, Chief Investigation Department of the State Security Service joined efforts with Office of Prosecutor General and turned to Shevchenkivsky district court of Kyiv, seeking the arrest of corporative rights of 112 Ukraine TV channel, and the passage of these rights under the management of ARMA (Ukraine’s National Agency for detection, search and management of assets, achieved through acts of corruption and other crimes).
If the motion was granted, ARMA, the state-run authority could assign the manager for 112 Ukraine, which is a private property, or sell it to a third person. That is, the TV channel could be taken from the current owner for political reasons – forcefully and for good.
The actions are illegal, being a raid performed on the highest state level. They consist of certain criminal infringements – mainly power abuse (Articles 364,365,366,369-2 of Ukraine’s Criminal Code and others).
Today, the court rejected the appeal by the SBU and Office of Prosecutor General and did not pass the illegal, politically motivated pressure on the independent medium. But the pressure that the independent TV channels feel is a tangible thing for the judiciary system.
The current situation causes fears that such attemps could repeat, and some other judge might not be able to make a rightful and just decision under the pressure of President of Ukraine, the SBU and Office of Prosecutor General.
112 Ukraine sees a connection between the attempt of a raider attack on the TV channel with the attempt of the government to set the censorship in Ukraine, as the local elections approach.
It’s been more than a year, and the government still can’t find and punish terrorists who fired a grenade launcher and damaged the buidling of the TV channel. The government didn’t even managed to verbally condemn the actions of the radical activists.
112 Ukraine is going to appeal to the Council of Europe, European Parliament, organzations of protection of journalists, foreign embassies and the International Editorial Council, urging them to protect freedom of the speech in Ukraine.