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03.08.2011

Surreal criminal case against Dementiy Bily has been terminated

   

Dementiy Bily, journalist and human rights activist has confirmed that following public appeals to the Prosecutor regarding the absurdity of initiating criminal proceedings against him, the case was dropped.  There had been reports a week ago that the case had been reinstated.

As reported, on 14 September 2010 Dementiy Bily was pushed out of the theatre where the Mayor of Kherson was giving his “report” to a closed audience and beaten up.  Dementiy Bily, who is the Editor of the newspaper Free Choice and Head of the Kherson Regional Branch of the Committee of Voters of Ukraine, was himself admitted only after the Deputy Head of the Regional Administration intervened.  Seeing empty places and knowing how many people were not being admitted, he 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 main assailant, businessman Viktor Shevchuk, on the forehead as he tried to break free.  They then drew up a protocol against Dementiy Bily for an administrative offence as supposedly having caused the fight. 

Dementiy Bily himself applied to the Prosecutor to have a criminal investigation initiated over the assault and for obstruction of his journalist work. The latter application was ignored, however the Prosecutor did initiate a case against the other person, Viktor Shevchuk over injuries inflicted to Dementiy Bily (Article 125 § 1 of the Criminal Code).

In December 2010 the Kherson Regional Court of Appeal upheld the ruling of the Suvorovsky District Court in Kherson which at the beginning of November found no traces of hooliganism in Dementiy’s actions on 14 September. This ruling was final.

With regard to the criminal investigations initiated, the judge combined them and sent them for re-examination. As a result of this re-examination the investigator had charged Dementiy with deliberately causing light bodily injuries.

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