Journalists of the «Pryamiy» channel announced another attempt by the security forces to arrest the TV channel and hand it over to the ARMA administration, following the instructions of the authorities.
Today’s search of the former owner of the TV channel, Volodymyr Makeyenko, is connected with this, in particular. As the host Valerii Kalnysh reported live, during the searches, the original notarized testimony of Oleg Koretskyi, the former head of the investigative team of the State Bureau of Investigation, was seized from Makeyenko.
«Today, at 7:30 a.m., the office and apartment of Volodymyr Makeyenko, who has not been the owner of the «Pryamiy» channel for three years, were searched. According to our sources, they were looking for the original notarized testimony of Oleg Koretskyi, the former head of the investigative team of the SBI, who confirmed in July 2020 that the SBI leaders had instructed the investigators to take measures to arrest the «Pryamiy» TV channel as material evidence. As a result, the channel had to stop its activity. «Pryamiy» learned from its own sources that today, during the search of Makeyenko, law enforcement officers found documents that actually testify to this case,» the presenter said.
The TV channel needs the original testimony of the SBI investigator to defend its interests in international courts, explains Pryamiy.
As you know, the case against the «Pryamiy» TV channel was opened for defamation of Andrii Portnov, a pro-Russian activist and associate of Yanukovych. According to the lawyer of the TV channel, Yevhen Solodko, on June 31, 2023, the Shevchenkivskyi District Court of Kyiv ordered the SBI to close the proceedings against «Pryamiy» or take the case to court. The lawyer notes: since 2019, SBI investigators have not found evidence of a violation of the law and they are obliged to comply with the court’s decision. However, the SBI ignores this decision, and in order to continue the pressure on the channel, registers a new proceeding against Makeyenko.
«Criminal proceedings have been going on for four years. There is no notice of suspicion. And so on May 31 of this year, the landmark decision of the Shevchenkivskyi District Court said that the SBI should make a decision — either close it, or do something. Of course, the SBI did nothing. They pretend that nothing happened,» says the lawyer.
«As far as I know, the decision to search Makeyenko was issued by the Lychakiv District Court of Lviv. We all know very well that the SBI is located in Kyiv. And in terms of territorial jurisdiction, it is Shechenkivskyi district. But in some strange way, for some reason, judicial control over this case is carried out precisely in Lviv. I do not rule out that today, maybe tomorrow, there may be a decision to transfer the channel to ARMA. What will be the wording there — corporate rights, property, etc. — they are capable of anything,» Solodko believes.
The general producer of the «Pryamiy» TV channel Svitlana Orlovska also suggests that the company’s property is once again planned to be seized as material evidence and handed over to ARMA, which was recently headed by Olena Duma.
«Olena Duma won the competition for the position of the new head of the Asset Recovery and Management Agency of Ukraine (ARMA). And I will remind you that there was a huge scandal, because Transparency International urged the Cabinet of Ministers not to vote for the appointment of this candidate. It was noted there that the Duma does not have the necessary professional experience, has close political ties, probably has business contacts with a traitor and a suspect in cooperation with Russia,» Orlovska noted.
She also emphasized that pressure on the media is incompatible with the European integration of Ukraine.
«How can such things happen in a legal state that is on its way to the European Union, that wants to join NATO, that is fighting for freedom? I absolutely will never believe that such things just happen, and that the SBI acts in a chaotic manner. It is obvious that there is someone’s instruction to destroy information resources, to destroy the «Pryamiy» TV channel. And this is the desire that appeared on May 24, 2019 and has not disappeared to this day. In October, the European Commission should make an assessment and invite Ukraine to the accession negotiations to the European Union. We speak to the whole world, to all our partners, and about freedom of speech in particular,» sums up Svitlana Orlovska.
She called on law enforcement officers not to take part in illegal actions, for which they will later have to bear responsibility.