The Security Service of Ukraine is conducting searches in the offices of the much talked-of Ukrainian internet outlet Strana. The Security Service officers also broke in the private flats of the two outlet journalists, the website of the media reports.
The warrant of search was issued by Pechersky District Court. According to the court’s definition ,the search is conducted in the frameworks of the criminal case on “disclosure of highly classified information”. “The Security Service of Ukraine frames up the case against us,” reads the message of strana.ua.
Serhiy Tomilenko, the head of the Ukraine’s National Union of Journalists commented the situation.
Later the SBU confirmed the fact of the searches. Olena Hitlyanska, the spokeswoman of the security service, reported that the PCs are being checked for highly classified information.
As it was reported earlier, the law enforcers searched the editorial office of strana.ua on June 22. Igor Guzhva, the editor-in-chief was detained same day, charged with extortion and bribery, as he was caught in flagranti while getting his hand on almost USD 38,500. Guzhva himself links searches in the editorial premisses with critical publications related to the deputy of Verkhovna Rada Dmytro Linko (Radical Party). According to him, the criminal case against the agency was falsified.
Shevchenkivsky District Court of Kyiv has chosen a preventive measure for Igor Guzhva, editor-in-chief of the Strana.ua Internet portal, in the form of custody with the possibility to be released on 544 thousand UAH bail.
After the bail was posted, Guzhva spent the night in detention facility anyway due to the civil servants did not have time to sign paper on bail transfer due to the end of the working day. He was released on June 26.
On July 17 the General Secretary of International Federation of Journalists Anthony Bellanger sent his official comment, in which he condemned the attacks of the government on the Strana.ua and its Chief Editor.