September 5, the National Council on TV and Radio broadcasting NEWSONE TV channel in the repeat incitement of the national, race, religious hostility and hate and it decided to appeal to the court to deprive NEWSONE TV channel of a broadcasting license. This decision was supported by all six members of the regulator.
However, this decision of the National Council is illegal according to the number of reasons. And NEWSONE appealed to the National Police with the statement about the crime.
We believe that decision #1319 adopted by the National Council is the illegal ban for the covering of particular topics, particular people, criticism of the subject of power. Such illegal actions have the signs of such crime as the obstruction of the legitimate professional activity of the journalists.
Moreover, the illegal decision of the National Council was made by unauthorized attribution of power by two members of the council and it has the signs of the crime provided by part 1, article 353 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine.
As it is known, the term of office of three members of the National Council (Olha Gerasimyuk, Oleksandr Iliashenko, Oleg Chernysh) expired at the beginning of July and they cannot participate in the sessions of the regulator and vote for its decisions. However, Gerasimyuk and Chernysh present at the session voted for #1319 decision aiming for closure of NEWSONE TV channel.
Thus, the mentioned members of the National Council, despite the law of Ukraine “On the National Council of Ukraine on TV and Radio broadcasting”, arbitrarily attributed the authorities of the member of the National Council when the 5-year term of their authorities expired.
Moreover, the law on the National Council also states that the session of the regulator is competent if not less than six members are present there. In other words, 3 out of 8 members of the regulator has no right to participate in the sessions and such sessions of the council and its decisions are illegal. If the regulator sticks to the law, the session on September 5 would not take place as well as #1319 decision.
The crime is evident. But the National Police do not observe the demands of the law and do not put the information to the United register of pretrial investigations on the application of NEWSONE dated September 12, 2019, registered in the police. 24 hours provided for it but more time passed and the information is not put to the United register of pretrial investigations. It turns out that the National Police intentionally conceal the crimes committed by the National Council?
Moreover, the parliament, today, tried to correct the mistake and recognized that the council works illegally. The Verkhovna Rada by Servant of the People party adopted the draft law #2036 on imposing of the procedure of the extension of the authorities of the National Council member after their extension.
On September 17, 2019, Chief scientific-expert department of the Verkhovna Rada estimate this bill negatively as the term is the most important legal condition for the appointment for the post with the state authorities.
The Servant of the People MPs intend to provide in the new bill that after the end of 5-year-term, the authorities of the council’s member continue until the appointment of the new member of the council, excluding the early termination of the authorities of the member of this body.
However, the law does not have the retroactive effect, even if it is adopted in the submitted variant. In other words, the pro-regime factions of Servant of the People, which present the coalition in the parliament, will recognize the illegality of the actions of the National Council members and the National Police blatantly do not want to notice the application filed by NEWSONE.
As for the National Council's criminal schemes, other law enforcement agencies don't seem to be in a hurry, too. As is known, the State Investigations Bureau looks into fictitious tenders of the regulation authority for the sum of over USD 4 million, in which the agency purchased the TV channels monitoring system of dubious quality. However, the investigation continues.
Besides, the judges are in limbo, too. As is known, 112 Ukraine TV channel previously filed five suits against the District administrative court of Kyiv, in which it asked to consider the actions of three Council members illegal; their authority expired, but they still join the sessions of the agency. The court only opened cases on two of five lawsuits, in spite of the fact that they were identical. This shows that there are political reasons behind this case, and the law is applied on a selective basis.
Apparently, the government is interested in using the National Council as a baton; it intends to shut down the independent media with the aid of the illegal decisions of the agency. At the same time, it uses law enforcement agencies and the "tame" radical activists.
NEWSONE TV channel will be fighting against attempts to set censorship in Ukraine. We'll be turning to all law enforcement agencies and courts, to Western partner countries and all relevant international organizations to protect the right for freedom of speech, which is an integer part of modern democracy.