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 Court bans Censor.NET Chief Editor Yurii Butusov from leaving Ukraine because of Yura Yenakievskiy

Darnytskyi district court of Kyiv has granted a request by bailiff’s service on temporary restriction for Censor.NET Chief Editor Yurii Butusov in his right to leave the country.

This is written in a court decision dated May 26, Censor.NET informs citing Glavkom.

The reason behind the sanction is the failure to fulfill the decision of the Darnytskyi court of Kyiv dated Dec. 22, 2015, obliging Censor.NET to publish on its front page refutation of information about "Promtovarnyi rynok" company (the owner of the Eastern Europe's largest wholesale and retail market "7th kilometer").

This refers to last year's article titled "Entrepreneurs demand that Saakashvili [Odesa governor - ed.] saves "7th kilometer" and MPs abolish cash registers." The article included demands of Odesa region's entrepreneurs to people's deputies about abolition of cash registers. The material cited Odesa entrepreneurs about extortions that allegedly existed at "7th kilometer." They said that management of the market practiced private extortions for windows, entrance of vehicles, import and export of goods from the warehouse, and a dozen of other matters. In addition, the article stated that the market's administration was depriving retailers of their rights for their own retail space.

However, the top management of the "Promtovarnyi rynok LLC" was outraged by the last paragraph of the material reading that the profits of "7th kilometer," under the wing of former Party of Regions MP Yurii Ivaniushchenko, were spent on financing of the "Luhansk People's Republic." Here is this paragraph:

"As reported earlier by media, the "7th kilometer" market has transferred 23.5 million hryvnia (approx. $1 million) to a Luhansk firm covered by the so-called "LPR." Disguised into a purchase of shares of "Luhansk coal preparation company," the market's administration has transferred funds of the company to the east of Ukraine. Media link this agreement with the fact of financing of "LPR" by the group of Ivaniushchenko."

Read more: Ukraine's High Specialized Court quashes unlawful judgment of Solomianskyi court in Ivaniushchenko's case, - PGO

Last year, "Promtovarnyi rynok" company filed a lawsuit against Yurii Butusov, demanding to admit the information from the paragraph above was untrue and harming business reputation.

The owner company of the Odesa market had two arguments in its favor. The list of founders of the "Promtovarnyi rynok" did not include the name of Ivaniushchenko, and the mentioned paragraph of the contract on purchasing of the stock worth 23.5 million hryvnia of "Luhansk coal preparation company" "was not implemented" and "was canceled." In support of their words, top managers of the company provided relevant documents from "TK Kredyt" bank.

According to data by the National Bank of Ukraine, "TK Kredyt" bank's major owner was venture fund "Novi tekhnolohii" (18.6398 percent), and final beneficiaries were Yurii Umanets, Willem Martinus de Beer and Elmar Ibanez (24/8178 percent each). As reported by Interfax-Ukraine citing other media, "TK Kredyt" and "Novi tekhnolohii" fund were related to Party of Regions member Yurii Ivaniushchenko. In addition, the same citizens of RSA were co-owners of another business of Ivaniushchenko and his partner Ivan Avramov in Ukraine (in particular, companies "Alba Resurs" and "Myronivkabudmontazh" that own licenses for development of Pivdenno-Medvedivska and Pivdenno-Khrestyshchenska blocks in the Kharkiv region).

This was enough to convince the court. The claim was sustained; Butusov, however, was deviating from refuting the information, as the court ruling reads. Due to his intended non-compliance with the decision, a criminal case has been initiated against the journalist.

According to the verdict of the Darnytskyi court of Kyiv Judge Serhii Sukhomlynov, the restriction against Butusov would be in effect until obligations towards the "Promtovarnyi rynok LLC" are fulfilled.

Read more: Leshchenko on Ivaniushchenko's removal from Interpol wanted list: "We are dealing with conspiracy involving president"

In his commentary to Glavkom, Butusov said he wasn't aware of this judgment.

"It is an outrage by the judicial system; the decision has been taken in absentia, without serving a subpoena, although finding me [to summon to court - ed.] is really easy," the journalist said. "In addition, I do not understand the grounds for this decision by the judge - it is absurd and proves that Darnytskyi court does not know the law on media."

It is worth noting that Ivaniushchenko's interests in "7th kilometer" had not been secret before. According to media, during Yanukovych's tenure as a president of Ukraine, "Promtovarnyi rynok LLC" ("7th kilometer" market) was owned by four persons: Viktor Dobrianskyi (34 percent), Borys Melnychuk (34 percent), Iryna Chernat (18 percent) and Denys Voloshyn (14 percent). "However, in 2010 under pressure of Ivan Avramov, who is named Ivaniushchenko's underboss in the Odesa region, the founders of "7th kilometer" formally presented the first 25 percent of shares to offshore company Parroks Corporation Limited, owned by the MP's son Arsen Ivaniushchenko." The total share of the notorious MP was estimated at 56 percent.

The connection of Ivaniushchenko and "7th kilometer" had been investigated by "Dilova stolytsia" newspaper. According to the outlet, Ivaniushchenko was planning to expand the market, already covering a vast territory of 70 hectares, through adding a neighboring state enterprise "TVK." "In September 2011, Ivaniushchenko's associated company "Luhansk coal company limited" initiated a bankruptcy case of the state enterprise "TVK"," the medium reported.

Owners of the "Luhansk coal preparation company" are abovementioned RSA citizens Elmar Ibanez, Willem Martinus de Beer, and African Monica Van Zil and Donetsk resident Oleksandr Zaitsev. This firm is a figurant of a criminal case by the Prosecutor General's Office, opened in relation to the fact of misappropriation of 70 hectares of natural defense lands in Kyiv by officials of the Kyiv city council and private companies' managers.

 
 
 
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