UARU
Kyiv Court Imposes Pre-Trial Detention for Ukrainian Journalist
24 June, 2017
616
A6569a7afe652900f
Photo: Dmytro Replianchuk, Hromadske

Kyiv district court impose a pre-trial restraint for the editor-in-chief of "Strana.ua", Igor Guzhva, who has been recently detained on suspicions of bribery with the possibility of bail at 20, 900 USD.

Hromadske's correspondent reports from court.

At the same time, Guzhva's lawyer and the former Minister of Justice under fugitive former President Yanukovych, Olena Lukash said the bail has already been paid. Guzhva remains in custody.

The spokesperson for Kyiv Prosecutor's Office Nadiya Maksymets told Hromadske that prosecutors demanded tha bail to be more than 115, 000 USD.

Photo: Dmytro Replianchuk, Hromadske

Guzhva's lawyer claimed that the videos which a representative of Prosecutor's General Office had recently released confirms that accusations against the journalist were "evidence-less".

"Ad interim, the investigators haven't found and determined everything that can become evidence to prove Guzhva has committed the crime. It can be one of the risks of his release," the prosecutor Olena Kovalchuk told to Hromadske.

Photo: Dmytro Replianchuk, Hromadske

According to Kovalchuk, Guzhva can pressure victims and eyewitnesses.

Earlier, the court also put one of the suspects in this case under house arrest.

The spokesperson of Kyiv Prosecutor's Office Nadiya Maksymets wrote on Facebook that Guzhva is already a suspect in another criminal proceeding, where the bail is set at around 38,000 USD.

Law enforcement officers detained Igor Guzhva, editor-in-chief of major Ukrainian online newspaper Strana.ua, in the late evening of June 22.

According to the Prosecutor’s General Office, Igor Guzhva demanded and received a bribe amounting to 10,000 USD for not publishing compromising information about a Ukrainian politician.

The day after, on June 23, Larysa Sarhan, who represents Prosecutor's General Office, published videos of Igor Guzhva allegedly "demanding a bribe". In the video, a man who looks like Igor Guzhva is speaking to an unknown person. Based on their dialogue, they are negotiating the sum of money which they want to prevent the publication of some articles. They didn't speak about any specific material.

Guzhva himself denies all accusations and claims that somebody twice offered him a bribe in return for deleting some critical publications about the leader of the Radical Party Oleh Lyashko which he did not do.