Court finds no hooliganism in Dementiy Bily’s actions
The Suvorovsky District Court in Kherson has found no traces of hooliganism in the actions of journalist and Head of the Kherson Regional Branch of the Committee of Voters of Ukraine during the report to a closed audience by Kherson’s Mayor Saldo on 14 September.
Dementiy, who was himself admitted only after the Deputy Head of the Regional Administration intervened, grabbed a microphone and began calling on the Mayor to instruct that all those wishing to hear his report be admitted to the hall. Instead, three men shoved Dementiy out into the foyer, where one proceeded to inflict blows to his face.
The police did nothing until Dementiy’s camera hit the assailant on the forehead as he tried to break free. They then drew up a protocol against Dementiy Bily, not the man hitting him.
Dementiy told Telekritika that the “Prosecutor’s Office later issued a reprimand to the duty police officer who drew up that protocol, however now the court has finally examined it and ruling to close proceedings for lack of any element of the stated administrative offence in my actions. The ruling can be appealed in the next 10 days”
Dementiy Bily also reported that last week the same court refused to cancel the decision by the Prosecutor’s Office to initiate a criminal investigation against his assailant, Viktor Shevchuk. He points out though that neither he, nor his lawyer, were called to the court hearing, that they were simply informed of the decision by the Prosecutor’s Office, and that that ruling can also be appealed. Dementiy’s lawyer believes that Viktor Shevchuk will most likely appeal the ruling.
As reported, the Prosecutor’s Office has initiated a criminal investigation over the assault on the Editor of the newspaper “Vilny Vybir” [“Free Choice”] and Head of the Kherson Regional Branch of the Committee of Voters but has not opened proceedings under Article 171 of the Criminal Code “Obstructing a journalist carrying out their professional activities”. Dementiy says that they applied for this, but the Prosecutor’s Office had not yet responded although the time period had already passed. He was told that they had attached this charge to the criminal file.
The Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union Legal Litigations Fund is providing legal defence for Dementiy Bily in this matter.