Article by: Anna Mostovych
The Kyiv Court of Appeals has reversed a lower court’s decision and dismissed Viktor Medvechuk’s suit against former National Security Council Secretary Andriy Paribiy.
Parubiy wrote about it in his Facebook:
“This summer during one of the press conferences, I, as Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council, publicly stated that Viktor Medvedchuk is a criminal who has been involved in the Russian invasion. Medvedchuk is one of the key organizers … who prepared the insurrection in Ukraine and who prepared the ground for Russian troops to invade Ukraine, ” he wrote.
According to Parubiy, his declaration succeeded in eliminating Medvedchuk from the Minsk ceasefire negotiations. “I’m not afraid to say that my statement and its publicity knocked Medvedchuk out of the Minsk negotiations. I consider that my contribution,” he said.
Medvedchuk then filed a “defamation” suit in the Pechersk district court in Kyiv and demanded one token hryvnia in compensation. As expected, he won his case in the Pechersk court, which has been accused of other questionable rulings, including the sentencing of Yulia Tymoshenko to prison more than three years ago on politically motivated charges and the “unfreezing” of the assets and accounts of Serhiy Arbuzov, Yanukovych’s corrupt former deputy prime minister. Additionally, as reported by the Kyiv Post, the court has ordered the release of several individuals implicated in the killings on Euromaidan earlier this year.
Parubiy, however, appealed the decision with the Kyiv Court of Appeals, which overturned the lower court’s decision and rejected Medvedchuk’s claim.
“Thus all attempts by Medvedchuk to use the courts to persuade the public that he is not a criminal have failed completely. Now it is up to the prosecutor’s office to conduct an appraisal of Medvedchuk’s activities,” Parubiy concluded.
Viktor Medvedchuk is a Ukrainian politician and oligarch who at one time was former President Leonid Kuchma’s chief of staff and was considered to be the man behind-the-scenes in Viktor Yanukovych’s 2004 presidential election. As chairman of the pro-Russian political organization Ukrainian Choice, Medvedchuk publicly attacked the European Union and the proposed Association Agreement as well as the Euromaidan protests. He is believed to be especially close to Russia’s President Vladimir Putin. In fact, Putin and the wife of Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev are the godparents of one of Medvedchuk’s daughters.
In March this year he was placed on the White House sanctions list of individuals involved in the crisis in Ukraine for “threatening the peace, security, stability, sovereignty, or territorial integrity of Ukraine, and for undermining Ukraine’s democratic institutions and processes… and because he is a leader of an entity that has, or whose members have, engaged in actions or policies that undermine democratic processes or institutions in Ukraine and actions or policies that threaten the peace, security, stability, sovereignty, or territorial integrity of Ukraine.”
In July this year he served as mediator during the initial ceasefire negotiations between the armed insurgents and the Ukrainian government at the request of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and apparently at Putin’s insistence. It was believed that Putin wanted to have him named governor of the Donetsk Oblast, thus officially returning him to Ukrainian politics.
Parubiy declared in July that based on the information he had received from sources in Eastern Ukraine, Medvechuk had been preparing and financing separatist groups for the past two years and that he therefore was not eligible to participate in the negotiations. Later, Medvedchuk announced he would no longer attend negotiations of the so-called tripartite contact group.
In early January 2014, Medvedchuk won a slander suit against writer Oksana Zabuzhko, who had accused him of involvement in the provocations against the Euromaidan protestors on November 30 — December 1, 2013.
However, with the recent decision by the Kyiv Appellate Court, it appears that Parubiy can safely continue calling Medvedchuk a criminal.