Better in a zone than in Kherson

Today at a press-conference in UNIAN representatives of public organizations of the Kherson region “The business guild” and “The public control” presented the facts of the official abuse and corruption actions of A. Ivanyshchuk which led to “active trade of ordered judicial verdicts”, wayward “violence against the free press and businessmen”.

Thus, at the beginning of February a criminal case was initiated against the newspaper “The fair word” that in the course of the presidential elections supported Viktor Yushchenko, as if there were a threat to the judge’s life. The “threat” militia of Kherson discovered in the article with the information that the local prosecutor H. Marenchuk tries to illegally close 15 enterprises. For the phrase “if not to deal a blow to corruptioners and infringers they will throw aside all restraint” the editorial board is persecuted, its employees are threatened.

But for some reason the militiamen failed to guess that having feared the phrase “to deal a blow” they recognized the prosecutor Marenchuk really belongs to the category of “corruptioner and infringer”.

Oppression of the freedom of speech didn’t start with this case. According to V. Lukyanenko, “The fair word” was the only opposition edition in Kherson and for this reason was oppressed and pressed by the local government.

After V. Yushchenko’s victory during the elections, the paper published the facts of illegal, in the opinion of the participants of the press-conference, enrichment of the head of the Court of Appeal of the Kherson region A. Ivanyshchuk (the cost of the property of the Ivanyshchuks family, according to V. Lukyanenko, is more than 5 million dollars), and the information about the corruption deeds of A. Ivanyshchuk, the judge V. Boyko and the prosecutor H. Marenchuk. Exactly after this the real persecution of the paper started.

As V. Lukyanenko informed, at first a “case was concocted” against the lawyer of the paper Y. Vashchuk. He was imprisoned and released only in 40 days after local deputies involved. A bit later the judge V. Boyko fined the newspaper for 100 thousand hryvnias in favour of a “staunch defender of Yanukovych” P. Melnychuk, owner of the building stores network “Old Khottabych”. The newspaper in the article “Old Khottabych, it’s time to come out of the shadow and pay taxes” criticized him for evading taxes.

Cases of militiamen’s abuse of power are seen not only in persecution of the freedom of speech. “Otherwise-minded” businessmen also have no rest.

Against the management of the firm “Biolog” dealing with manufacturing of rooting materials and that already two years appropriates funds for the movement supporting Yushchenko, a criminal case was initiated for “incorrect paper work”. Artur Lukyanenko, one of the chiefs of “Biolog” told that for along time already militia is on duty by his dwelling, his relatives and acquaintances are interrogated. “I came to Kyiv yesterday to avoid arrest”, – he says.

By this scheme, according to the participants of the press-conference, in the Kherson region many enterprises were closed. A criminal case is launched against a firm, its property is arrested and then sold. And the earnings are divided among the participants of the “fraud”, including local judges and prosecutors.

According to the representative of “The business guild” Volodymyr Lukyanenko, already for ten years the judicial system of the Kherson region is nothing but a clearly outlined mafia structure, there is no notion of sides’ competition, but only “competition of purses and money”.

The day before yesterday representatives of public organzations of the Kherson region picketing the Presidential Administration met with Viktor Yushchenko asking him to dismiss the head of the Court of Appeal. Viktor Yushchenko directed the “fighters for justice” to the minister of justice Roman Zvarych. According to V. Lukyanenko, Zvarych promised to the citizens of Kherson his support and said that most likely Ivanyshchuk will be not only dismissed but also imprisoned.

In the opinion of the participants of the press-conference, the citizens of Kherson had no other way out except for coming to Kyiv and asking him to defend them from “the intransigence of venal judges and neglecting fundamental rights and freedoms of citizens”.

“Even in a prison zone it’s better than in Kherson, for there are its own rules and laws. And in Kherson no laws have force for ten years already”, – stressed the head of the regional All-Ukrainian public organization “Public control” Oleksandr Plishko.

Olena Holiuk,


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