Journalists vs Arsen Avakov (Chairman of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine). Journalists – winners?

28th April in the Lesniki village of Kievska oblast the unknown attacked the camera crew of journalist investigation program “Nashi Groshi” (Our Money) (ZIK channel). It is highly likely this case would interest no one (alas, journalists are assaulted regularly in Ukraine), if it were not the people who assaulted and their sibling connections. (in Russian)

“I’m a man who lived and worked abroad (in the Europe), I want this country (Ukraine) to become European”.
Sergey Chebotar.

Hebotar-Sergey

Sergey Chebotar, Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs

The anti corruption program «Nashi Groshi» was making a story about the corruption in the Ministry of Internal Affairs in Ukraine. Their object-glass captured the deputy minister of MIA Sergey Chebotar. Sergey Chebotar in particular was fighting against the corruption inside the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine and he was invited personally by Aleksandr Turchynov who was at that moment the acting President of Ukraine. Journalists became interested in Chebotar absolutely by chance. The point is that only a house and a flat were indicated in the declaration, the lands with houses in the prestigious area out of Kiev – the Lesniki village, which also belonged to the Chebotar’s family, were totally ingored.

чеботарь дом

Real estate of family Chebotar

чеботар-бигусIt is also worth mentioning that the scandal investigations around this land came to light before, as the relic wood (the reserve Chernechy les) was illegally cut down on these lands earlier and three houses (the trees were cut down just for three houses, several hectares in total) were built. In the base of court judgments the indirect connection of the deputy minister of internal affairs Sergey Chebotar was revealed.

As the journalists of «Nashi Groshi» found out (the registry of information about the immovables has been recently opened in Ukraine) in the cadastral maps, three lots with buildings with a total area of 75 square meters belong to the Sergey Chebotar’s family. But these are only fragments in the centre of the large housing estate where there was a forest before. The other lots are registered for Miss Alina Yavorskaya (this woman is a co-founder of the A.T.N. company which will be presented in the further section). The neighbor of Oksana Chebotar (Sergey Chebotar’s daughter) is also Rayisa Vyshnevskaya, this lady is no less a person that sister-in-law of Aleksandr Turchynov (the secretary of the Council of national safety and defense).

Initially Sergey Chebotar claimed that neither he nor his family are the owners of prestigious lots and houses in the Lesniki village and that all the information about that is nothing but the attempts “to discriminate the ministry team which leads a tough policy of the fight against the corruptionists”. He wrote that on the official website of MIA.

After the journalists published the confirmative documents, Sergey Chebotar suddenly recalled that the land and buildings belong to his son-in-law. But as the journalists found out later, Sergey Chebotar lied again having said that his daughter hadn’t possessed the real estate in the Lesniki village. To date Oksana Chebotar is also an owner of the expensive land in the Lesniki village.

When the camera crew of «Nashi Groshi» came to make a story about the lots in the Lesniki village, the car of Sergey Chebotar’s wife, Varvara, was in the shot. After that the group of people came and assaulted the journalists (video of an assault). The cameraman Mikhail Shelest was beaten, the assailant took the camera and video recorder away.

The group of journalists reported about the assault to the militia, but even after two weeks the guilty were not found, though the journalists gave the photos and videos where the faces of assailants and the license plate of their car were seen.

But the journalists themselves did what the militia could not manage with. It was found out that among the assailants there were the building company «A.T.N.» director Sergey Gavrylko and one of the co-founders of the «A.T.N.» company Oleg Polyshchuk who is Sergey Chebotar’s son-in-law.

Arsen Avakov: “Stop the hysteria!”

Acting Interior Minister of Ukraine Arsen Avakov

Acting Interior Minister of Ukraine Arsen Avakov

After that incident Sergey Chebotar denied the connection of his relative with the journalists assault and pillage. It is also strange that the Minister of MIA Arsen Avakov himself whom the journalists delivered all available documents compromising his deputy Sergey Chebotar had no interest in that story at all. Arsen Avakov just offered the journalist “to stop the hysteria” (reaction of the MIA Minister Avakov)

In a week after the assault the Anticorruptional committee invited Avakov and Chebotar to the meeting in order to discuss this incident. Both ignored it!

During the discussion the committee had recommended to prosecute an internal inquiry and addressed to the Minister Avakov for investigation of that incident and for temporal resignation of Sergey Chebotar during the investigation. Also there was an appeal to the National Office of Public Prosecutor for the purpose of the investigation of journalists assault. (nbnews.com.ua)

As a result of much ado about that story on the 13th of May the group of people’s deputies in the Verkhovna Rada registered the project of resolution about the resignation of the MIA Minister Avakov. (pravda.com.ua)

A few hours later Sergey Chebotar’s application about the resignation followed next.

«In connection with systematic baiting in the form of the slanderous publications made to order in mass media;

in connection with spreading of false information discrediting not only my name but also the Ministry of Internal Affairs;

in connection with pressure upon my family in the form of persecution, intimidations, threats and illegal shadowing of me and my family, including my daughter and even the 4-year-old granddaughter,

I have come to a determination to send in my resignation».

14.05.15 Sergey Chebotar’s resignation was accepted.

What makes this story remarkable?

Of course it is good when the officials who assumed the function of corruption fighters are dismissed after such incidents, but what will follow after that?

турчинов

Oleksandr Turchynov (Secretary of National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine)

Will there be further investigations and full-fledged inquiry with regard to legality of the acquisition of prestigious lots and building there?

Will the guilty (including the relatives of the ex-deputy MIA Minister) be punished? Will the militiamen who did not take any measures to search for the assailants be punished?

It is possible to ask many questions, but should we wait for answers at least to some of them, if Aleksandr Turchynov himself, the current secretary of the National council of safety and defense personally invites such candidates (neighbors) for fighting against corruption in the MIA of Ukraine? It is not safe…

P.S. 1. Camera and and video recorder are still not given back to  owners.

2. The case of interference in Chebotar’s private life is registered in the militia!!!

3. Arsen Avakov is still the Minister of MIA of Ukraine.

P.P.S.
14.05.15 The Verkhovna Rada changed the Criminal Code and «Of government support of mass media and social defense of journalists». The draft №0924 was supported in total by 240 people’s deputies. The law introduces criminal responsibility for such illegal acts as threat or assault in regard to a journalist, deliberate destruction or larceny, encroachment on the journalist’s life, taking a journalist as a hostage.
This is important!

(yg)