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Ukraine's National Police opened criminal proceeding against members of TV regulating body on NewsOne TV channel application

Source : 112 Ukraine

The National Police of Ukraine has filed a criminal case into National Register of Pre-Trial Investigations. Investigation launched.
09:58, 26 September 2019

NewsOne TV channel
newsone.ua

The National Police of Ukraine has filed a criminal case into National Register of Pre-Trial Investigations, opened on the application of the NewsOne TV channel. The application reported of 3 out of 8 members of Ukraine's National Council on TV and Radio Broadcasting, who work illegally and take illegal decisions after the term of their duties expired, NewsOne TV Channel reports. 


The Chief Investigation Department of the National Police of Ukraine filed the application by the NewsOne TV Channel into the National Register of Pre-Trial Investigations under No. 12019000000000907, the application contains information on committing a crime by the members of the National Council on TV and Radio Broadcasting, namely - an illegal banning from covering certain topics, screening certain people, criticizing authorities, self-empowerment by some members of the regulating body. These facts lay the basis for criminal proceedings, investigation launched.

On September 5, the National Broadcasting Council repeatedly and unreasonably accused NewsOne TV channel of stirring up hatred and asked the court to deprive it of broadcasting license. All six sitting members of the regulating body voted for this decision. This decision by the National Council is illegal because the regulating body did not have the right to hold a meeting due to the lack of a quorum - the powers of three out of eight members of the National Council expired. In addition, the decision was made based on the comments of the guests on the air, which is actually a prohibition against covering certain topics and screening specific persons.

In this regard, NewsOne TV Channel appealed to the National Police with a statement about the crime.

In their application, the channel’s lawyers explained in details the illegality of the decision taken by the regulating body - self-empowering by two members of the National Council. This contains signs of a crime under Article 353 part 1 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine.

As it is known, the term of office of three members of the National Council - Olga Herasimyuk, Oleksandr Ilyashenko, Oleg Chernysh - expired in early July, and they have no right to participate in the meetings of the regulator and vote for his decisions. Nevertheless, Olga Herasimyuk and Oleg Chernysh were present at the meeting and voted for decision No. 1319, aimed at closing the NewsOne TV Channel.

Thus, the mentioned members of the National Council in violation of law Law of Ukraine “On the National Council of Ukraine on Television and Radio Broadcasting” usurped the powers of members of the National Council after a five-year term of their powers expired according to the law.

Moreover, the law on the National Council on TV and Radio Broadcasting also says that a regulator’s meeting is legitimate if at least 6 members of the National Council are present. At the moment, 3 out of 8 members of the regulator do not have the right to participate in its meetings, which means that these meetings of the National Council and their decisions are illegal.

If the regulator complied with the law, there would be no meeting on September 5, as would there be no decision No. 1319.

***

It should be noted that even the Verkhovna Rada acknowledged the fact that the regulator violated the law, which, by the efforts of the Servant of the People party, began to urgently correct the situation by voting last week on draft law No. 2036 to introduce a procedure for extending powers and authorities of a member of the National Council of Ukraine on Television and Radio Broadcasting after their expiration.

In the law on the National Council, Ukrainian MPs intend to stipulate that after 5 years the powers of a member of the National Council on Television and Radio Broadcasting shall be prolonged until the date of appointment of a new member of the National Council. The exception is early termination of powers of a member of the body.

However, as you know, the law has no retroactive force, even if it is adopted as a whole.

The State Investigation Bureau is also investigating the facts of embezzlement by the National Council of budget funds: we are talking about tenders worth over 4 million dollars, which resulted in the purchase of a monitoring system for TV channels of dubious quality. Despite this, the system noncompliant with the tender documentation was put into operation without completing all the necessary documents.

On September 26, the National Council is going to consider the issue of depriving digital broadcasting licenses of 112 Ukraine TV channel. Moreover, according to the law, the Council is not empowered to hold this meeting, since only 5 members of the regulating body have the appropriate powers, and the meeting can be held with at least 6 members.

 

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