In Cherkassy court has justified law enforcement officer, who is suspected of beating a press photographer. Journalist has filed an appeal
Ihor Efimov, photojournalist of the “Vechirni Cherkassy” newspaper, has filed an appeal against the verdict of December 12, 2016, of the Sosnovsky District Court of the Cherkassy. This verdict has justified the sole suspect in the case of beating of the journalist.
As reported by the information service of the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine (NUJU).
The organization reminded that on January 20, 2014, Ihor Efimov was severely beaten by law enforcement officers during the sweep of the checkpoint of activists on Cherkassy dam. He was on the scene in a yellow “press” with a badge and a camera.
Petro Palyvoda, who is now stated as the sole suspect by the Prosecutor’s Office, at that time served as the deputy commander of the battalion. However, Sosnovsky Court has delivered its verdict and acquitted Petro Palyvoda, since he was not appointed as the law enforcement officer and there were no elements of the crime in his actions.
Whereas, lawyers of the “Actio” law firm, who consulted Ihor Efimov at the request of the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine, believe that Sosnowski Court has not made a complete and comprehensive examination of the case and, therefore, acknowledged Palyvoda as the person who was not responsible for the observance of the lawfulness and discipline by his staff.
Therefore, as Ihor Efimov has explained, in the appeal he asked the court to abolish the judgment of the Sosnovsky District Court and adopt a new sentence, which recognizes the suspect as guilty of a criminal offense.
Prosecutor’s Office of that region has filed another appeal related to this case.
According to the press service of the Prosecutor’s Office of the Cherkassy region, “disagreeing with the verdict of Sosnovsky District Court of December 12, 2016, Prosecutor in the criminal proceeding of January 10, 2017, addressed to the Court of Appeal of Cherkassy region with the appeal against the verdict. The Prosecutor regards the verdict as illegal and asks to abolish it”.
At the same time, at the request of the NUJU Ihor Efimov is receiving help from the lawyers of the Regional Press Development Institute (RPDI).
As reported by Lyudmila Pankratova, the lawyer of the RPDI, in fact the Prosecutor’s Office failed to conduct a proper investigation in the case and has not established the persons involved in the direct obstruction of journalist activities.
“The investigation was conducted against a person in respect of whom the court has not been proven that he held the corresponding position and had a duty to stop the offense and even the fact that he saw that the offense took place. The case was not qualified under the Article 171 of the Criminal Code (Preclusion of legal professional activities of journalists). We believe that the victim can support the appeal of the Prosecutor’s Office. In the future we recommend for victim to require the initiation of the criminal case about the obstruction of legal professional activities of a journalist and participate in the investigation with the lawyer, as the victim claims that he can recognize the assailant”, – said Lyudmila Pankratova.
According to Serhiy Tomilenko, the first secretary of the NUJU, it is a matter of principle for the Union to provide help to the victimized colleague.
Legal support of journalist Ihor Efimov is the first case in the framework of realization of the partnership agreement between the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine and Kyiv law firm “Actio”. The agreement, which was negotiated at the end of 2016, provides for the granting of legal aid to the journalists who were victimized.