Preliminary naming of Buzina’s “murderers” replaces legal practice with “media justice”

Andriy Medvedko in detention. Photo: Bohdan Tytskyi

Andriy Medvedko in detention. Photo: Bohdan Tytskyi 

2015/06/19 • Op-ed

Article by: Ihor Lutsenko

On 18 June 2015, Ukraine’s Minister of Interior Arsen Avakov announced that the killers of controversial journalist Buzina had been caught, ignoring the presumption of innocence. This statement was widely spread by Ukrainian media channels and creates a dangerous situation where so-called “media justice” may substitute proper the legal mechanisms.

Naming suspects as “killers” in media, which took place in the Buzina case, can provoke a very dangerous practice of substituting legal mechanisms (an investigation and a trial in court) with so-called media justice, when the image of criminals is formed by statements of higher officials BEFORE the court decision is made.
Mr. Buzina was a pro-Russian writer/journalist who was killed on 16 April 2015 near his house in Kyiv.
Yesterday, on 18th of June 2015, the Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine Mr. Avakov stated in his blog that the “killers” of Mr.Buzina have been captured. Later, this information was repeated by Mr. Avakov on press briefing with the same term “killers,” referring to exact names of the suspects.

This information, including the mentioned opinion of Mr. Avakov regarding Andriy Medvedko, former member of Kyiv-2 battalion of Ministry of internal affairs of Ukraine and Denys Polischuk, member of 54th brigade of Ukrainian Military Force, was widely spread through Ukrainian media.

Such practice is clearly illegal and is very dangerous for Ukraine’s weak system of justice. Clearly, the broadcast of such a statement by one of the most influential political and government figures will place the independence of the investigation, as well as the court decision, under jeopardy.

I hope that the international community will raise this issue with the Ukrainian government, because in fact such events put under question the very prospects of democratic reforms in the country.

lutsenko

Ihor Lutsenko is a Euromaidan activist, journalist, and Ukrainian MP

 

 

Edited by: Alya Shandra
Source: Ihor Lutsenko’s FB

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  • puttypants

    Get rid of that disgusting cage. That is so awful. I can’t believe a civilized society would use such a thing. I agree, accusing a man and trying him in the media is garbage. Additionally, these men fought for Ukraine when so many wouldn’t and the government treats them like shit. If they did any worse things than the terrorist than give them a fair trial and imprison them. If the battalion is out of control than get them into control the right way with talk and compromise. Not by crucifying them in the media. These are your veterans…People who were willing to die for Ukraine.

    • Dean Venture

      Totally agree on the cage. I always thought that was a Russian thing; I didn’t realize Ukraine used it too. All it does is make the defendant look guilty and dangerous.