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Bundestag lawmaker Petr Bystron supports Medvedchuk in court: He is opposition leader; he is being charged for political reasons

Source : 112 Ukraine

On November 1, German politicians of the main levels visited Viktor Medvedchuk and expressed their support for him
13:20, 2 November 2021

Bundestag lawmaker Petr Bystron
112 Agency

The Chairman of the Political Council of the Opposition platform - For Life party, MP Viktor Medvedchuk is the leader of the opposition in Ukraine and represents millions of citizens in parliament, and the government is charging him for political reasons. This was stated by a member of the Bundestag's Foreign Policy Committee Petr Bystron, who came to support the opposition politician in court.

“Ukraine wants to join the European Union, and we are closely monitoring whether Ukraine adheres to EU standards. This is a very important process. Mr. Medvedchuk is our colleague, he is a member of parliament and represents several million people. He was placed under house arrest, which lasts longer than provided by Ukrainian law. He is the leader of the opposition; he is being charged for political reasons. Several TV channels were closed, which is pressure on freedom of speech. This is a critical situation. I hope that the standards of the European Union will be met and that this court will be fair,” he said.

It should be noted that on November 1, German politicians of the main levels - Dr. Maximilian Krah, a member of the European Parliament from Germany, a member of the Bundestag Foreign Policy Committee Petr Bystron and a member of the International Cooperation Committee of the Bavarian Landtag Ulrich Singer - visited Chairman of the Political Council of the Opposition platform - For Life party and MP Viktor Medvedchuk and expressed their support for him. In turn, Viktor Medvedchuk thanked his German colleagues who took the time to visit him today, taking into account the conditions and the situation in which he is in.

On February 2, President Volodymyr Zelensky signed a decree on the imposition of sanctions against 112 Ukraine, NewsOne, and ZIK TV channels. According to the decree, which came into force from the moment of signing, sanctions were applied to TV channels for five years. This provides for blocking the broadcasting of all three TV channels.

On February 26, journalists of the TV channels illegally closed by President Volodymyr Zelensky united and created a new TV channel - Pershiy Nezalezhniy. The founders of the new media are a group of journalists who previously worked on the 112 Ukraine, NewsOne, and ZIK channels. However, within an hour after the start of broadcasting, Pershiy Nezalezhniy TV channel was illegally turned off under pressure from the authorities.

On February 20, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky put into effect the decision of the National Security and Defense Council on sanctions against 8 individuals and 19 legal entities. Among them are three Ukrainian citizens - the politician Viktor Medvedchuk and his wife Oksana Marchenko and the common-law wife of the owner of the NewsOne, ZIK, and 112 Ukraine channels, Taras Kozak, Natalya Lavreniuk.

On May 13, Kyiv court chose the restriction measure for Viktor Medvedchuk, the opposition MP and Chairman of the Political Council of Opposition Platform - For Life party. On July 9, the court extended the house arrest of Viktor Medvedchuk until September 7. The lawyers of the politician stated about the recusal of the judge Serhiy Vovk right after the end of the court session. However, the court declined the appeal on recusal of the judge and prosecutor. On July 30, the Kyiv Court of Appeal refused to satisfy the appeal op the lawyers of Chairman of the Political Council of the Opposition Platform - For Life Viktor Medvedchuk against the extension of the politician's house arrest until September 7.

On July 30, the Kyiv Court of Appeal denied the lawyers of Viktor Medvedchuk, Chairman of the Political Council of the Opposition Platform - For Life, in satisfying the appeal regarding the extension of the politician's house arrest until September 7. During the court session on September 2, Pechersk District Court decided to extend the house arrest for another 2 months, until October 31.

The Opposition Platform - For Life responded to this legal arbitrariness, stressing that the political persecution of MP Taras Kozak has only one purpose: reprisals against independent media, 112 Ukraine, NewsOne and ZIK TV channels, and the destruction of freedom of speech in Ukraine. 

Commenting on the situation, Viktor Medvedchuk emphasized that his lawyers were fully prepared to appeal against the measure of restraint and they have evidence that refutes the prosecution's accusation and prove the illegality of applying house arrest to him.

Thus, the defense filed an appeal against the decision of the Pechersk District Court of Kyiv on extension of the measure of restraint for the politician. However, on July 30, the Kyiv Court of Appeal denied it, despite the defeat of all the arguments of the prosecution.

On October 8, MP from Opposition Platform - For Life  Renat Kuzmin claimed that the State Bureau of Investigations summoned Medvedchuk - allegedly for him to look into materials of the already closed case on the state treason and violation of the rules and customs of war. At the same time, Kuzmin said, representatives of the Office of Prosecutor General of Ukraine attempted to hand the politician a new suspicion of state treason and aiding terrorism. However, Medvedchuk's lawyers did not let the prosecutors do that, breaking the law. However, Medvedchuk's lawyers did not allow prosecutors to do this. Later he published a video of how the prosecutors tried to hand over another suspicion to the Chairman of the Political Council of the Opposition Platform - For Life, MP Viktor Medvedchuk, but the politician's lawyers thwarted this attempt.

Already on Monday, October 11, Kuzmin announced that Medvedchuk was nevertheless handed a motion for arrest or bail of one billion UAH. Despite the fact that Medvedchuk is already under house arrest, he does not break it, and according to the law, the court simply cannot change his preventive measure to a more severe one. The new charges relate to the disruption of coal supplies to Ukraine from South Africa and the facilitation of fuel supplies from the occupied territories of Donetsk and Luhansk regions in 2014.

Earlier, on October 12, Pechersk district court decided to choose the house arrest as a restrictive measure in the new case against Viktor Medvedchuk. The judges ruled that he is to remain under house arrest until December 7. Medvedchuk said that he would continue to fight the current government, no matter how much the repression against him intensifies. He stressed that together with the Opposition Platform - For Life they will continue to protect the interests of the Ukrainian people.

On Wednesday, October 20, the consideration of the appeal in this case was supposed to take place, but the Kyiv Court of Appeal postponed the consideration of the appeal of the prosecutors to the court's decision on preventive measure for the Chairman of the Political Council of the Opposition Platform - For Life party, MP Viktor Medvedchuk. The court session was postponed to 11:00 on November 9.

Leading European politicians, international and Ukrainian experts and the world media criticized Zelensky's decree on the closure of the TV channels 112 Ukraine, NewsOne and ZIK.

Over the past four months, the world media, European politicians, and experts have published more than 115,000 materials on the persecution of the opposition and independent TV channels by the Ukrainian authorities.

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