Glavnoye’s file server removed during police search



Photo: Lilia Anhorska, Gorodskoy Dozor

The Internet publication and newspaper Glavnoye informs that during the search of its premises on Tuesday, officers from the Department against Economic Crime removed the newspaper’s file server. According to the Chief Editor Volodymyr Chistilin, this contains the back issues of the newspaper as well as those still being prepared for publication.

He says that he can’t imagine what the police were hoping to find, and suggests  that they could have taken out a subscription to the newspaper.

On Wednesday morning IT specialists went to the Department against Economic Crime to try to get the server back or at least the material for the newspaper’s issue.  It was reported on Wednesday evening that the server had been returned, hopefully meaning that Saturday’s issue of the newspaper will be able to come out.

All of this has happened during the election period when checks on media publications are prohibited.

As reported, the Glavnoye premises are in the same building as the Basis Bank and the company Investor. The latter is owned by the former Governor of the Kharkiv oblast and opposition figure, Arsen Avakov who is presently in Italy following criminal proceedings having been initiated against him over alleged "abuse of power" at the beginning of 2012.  Avakov was expected to run in the parliamentary elections and was considered to have a good chance of being elected.  The Italian authorities have rejected a request to extradite him.

The police asserted on Wednesday that the searches were in connection with a criminal prosecution against the Basis Bank.  This, they say, was initiated on 22 August over alleged large-scale misappropriation or embezzlement of property through abuse of office or by an organized group.  Interfax reports that the Head of the Kharkiv Investigation unit told journalists that the bank had issued large loans under bills or property of firms in receivership, had transferred the money to others. He claimed that they money had ended up in offshore zones, and that several million UAH were involved.

This in no way explains why the major search on Tuesday included an Internet and press publication, often very critical of the regime, and a company belonging to Arsen Avakov, likely election candidate whom the Ukrainian authorities wish to extradite and prosecution and whom the Italian authorities see no grounds for extraditing him. 

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