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18.12.2007

When assailants sell police protocols

   

The Independent Media Trade Union of Ukraine and the Institute for Mass Information are demanding that the law enforcement authorities find those responsible for an attack on the “Business” newspaper journalist Maxim Birovash.

The Media Union is convinced that Mr Birovash was beaten and robbed in connection with his journalist work. The assault took place during the night from 7 – 8 December in the lift of his apartment block.

The journalist recounts that there were two assailants who knocked him to the ground, grabbed his bag and fled.  He says that the bag contained internal correspondence of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, protocols of meetings of the commission on passport provision, and other documents forming the basis for a journalist investigation into machinations over issuing passports.

The journalist was due to present these documents during a court hearing on 10 December in connection with a civil suit brought by the Chair of the Consultative Council of the private concern SSAPS [Single State Automated Passport System] Yury Sidorenko. 

While some of the contents of the bag were found, the relevant documents, as well as computer disks, two mobile phones, a laptop and the journalist’s diary were not among them.

The Media Union and IMI are calling for a full investigation into Birovash’s claim that the attack was commissioned by the Ministry of Internal Affairs to discover his sources of information in MIA bodies.

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