Court again used as weapon against civic activist


Andriy Semydidko with his lawyer in court

The Shevchenkivsky Court in Kyiv on Monday began examination of an extremely worrying case against the Director of the Anti-Raider Union of Entrepreneurs, Andriy Semydidko.

Mr Semydidko is accused of not having apologized to the current Presidential Adviser Andriy Portnov on TV Channel 5 in 2008.  In 2008 Portnov was still in the team of now jailed Yulia Tymoshenko and in any case Mr Semydidko could not apologize on Channel 5 if the channel refused to give him broadcasting time.  In 2012, with Portnov in President Yanukovych’s Administration, an investigator from the Department of Particularly Important Cases in the Kyiv Prosecutor’s Office, Prykhodko has charged Andriy Semydidko with not carrying out the court’s ruling. He has classified him as a public official since Semydidko heads an NGO.  Under the new Criminal Procedure Code, he could face a 5-year- prison sentence.

In 2008 Semydidko asserted on TV5 that Andriy Portnov was one of the biggest corporate raiders in Ukraine. Portnov then demanded via the court that the apology was issued on TV 5 which was made impossible by circumstances not within Semydidko’s control.

The Channel has now rectified matters, however the court case is continuing, leading to worrying suspicions as to the motives.

Svidomo reports that an artist arrived on Monday to draw the judge since they assumed – wrongly, as it transpired – that the judge would refuse to have pictures taken in the courtroom.

Information about the proceedings reported by Svidomo (where the photo is from)

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