Ukraine not to launch trial over demands on cancelling sanctions against pro-Russia TV channels

Ukrainian News
Canan Kevser
11 February 2021, 16:35
Canan Kevser
11 February 2021, 16:35

The Supreme Court of Ukraine has ruled not to open proceedings on a claim seeking the cancellation of sanctions against such pro-Russia TV channels as 112 Ukraine, ZIK, and NewsOne.

As reported on Wednesday by the press service of the Supreme Court, on February 9, the Cassation Court within the Supreme Court, issued the relevant decisions on proceedings on claims of citizens.

"The Cassation Court under the Supreme Court has ruled on cases No. 9901/22/21, No. 9901/23/21 on claims of citizens who appealed against presidential decree No. 43/2021 dated February 2, 2021, on a National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) decision of February 2, 2021, to use personal special economic and other restrictive measures (sanctions)," it says.

The court refused to open proceedings on a claim filed by a citizen who was seeking the cancellation of presidential decree No. 43/2021 by ruling it null and void. The court noted that the content of the claim virtually testifies to the fact that it was filed in the interests and in defence of the rights of other persons – legal entities who, according to the plaintiff, are the owners of the TV channels.

The court also took no further action on a claim filed by another citizen, setting for the plaintiff a ten-day period from the date of delivery of the ruling to eliminate the shortcomings.

"The decision is based on the fact that the plaintiff did not give reasons as for which way [the presidential] decree, which is the subject of the claim, violates the rights, freedoms and interests whose protection the plaintiff seeks in court. Also, the plaintiff did not specify the grounds for involving the NSDC, LLC Novosti (Novyny) 24 Hours, LLC TV and Radio Company 112-TV, LLC New Communications in the case as third parties who do not make independent claims on the subject of the dispute on to the defendant's side," the court said in its ruling.

On February 8, the court received another request with similar claims (case No. 9901/26/21). The Supreme Court must decide within five days since the registration of the request whether a criminal case should be opened to investigate it.

Background

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on February 2 signed off on the sanctions proposed by his national-security team against three television stations nominally owned by Taras Kozak, a member of the pro-Russian faction Opposition Platform For Life.

As of the morning of February 3, the broadcasting of NewsOne, ZIK and 112 Ukraine was blocked.

The blocked channels are believed to belong to Viktor Medvedchuk, the head of the faction’s political council and one of the richest and most influential individuals in the country. The politician denied that he owns the television stations.

On February 5, the Ukrainian parliament proposed to ban the journalists of the blocked TV channels from entering the building of Verkhovna Rada.