How very hurtful! Party of the Regions officials takes OPORA to court


Andriy Melnyk, Head of the Central Department for Internal Policy and Public Liaison of the Volyn Regional Administration has taken the Coordinator of the OPORA election programme for the Volyn oblast to court. He is demanding that Mykhailo Shepel be ordered to pay him moral damages for publishing information which Melnyk claims is not true.

In his suit, Melnyk asserts that Shepel “through his wrongful action” denigrated his honour and dignity and damaged his business reputation. He asserts that on 26 October the OPORA coordinator reported at a press conference that Melnyk, who is deputy head of the Volyn regional branch of the Party of the Regions was teaching members of precinct election commissions [PEC] how to falsify the elections. This, Melnyk asserts, caused him psychological distress and suffering.

OPORA quotes the suit in which Melnyk describes how distressed he was and also cites publications where Shepel’s allegations were reported.

He also acknowledges that he did indeed take part in training for PEC members on 12 October.

He asks the court to find Shepel’s statements defamatory, award compensation and order Shepel to refute the statement.

On 26 October the OPORA Coordinator held a press conference at which he revealed audio recordings from the training session for election commissions organized by the Party of the Regions. It can be clearly heard how a lawyer teaches members of the PEC to deliberately make “technical mistakes” which effectively falsify the outcome.  One of the recordings is of the address given by Andriy Melnyk in which the latter shares his thoughts with those present about how to understand the law. “However the law can be interpreted in different ways. As they say, (he then quoted a well-known phrase originally from Russian which is roughly one law for the rich, another for the poor – translator).

The court hearing is scheduled for 4 December. 

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