BBC standards, the Schemes investigation programme as an example to follow, and a single editorial assignment during the whole career – Dniprovskyi District Court of Kyiv has questioned two witnesses in Vitaliy Shabunin’s case.
May 3, the questioning of one of the of bully-blogger Filimonenko’s associates, Anton Hryniov, was completed, Oleksii Lypovetskyi, “a cameraman” and colleague of the video-blogger was questioned as well.
The complainant himself did not come to the court, and his lawyer asked to hold the court session in absentia, because Filimonenko “is abroad to fulfil his direct duties – those of a journalist”. However, Filimonenko himself shares on his social network account page images of his alleged wedding and travel across Europe.
Media legal expert Taras Shevchenko also took part in the court session; he was involved by the court as an expert in media law.
Shabunin’s lawyers, and the accused himself asked witnesses major questions, the judge did it less often. Prosecutors and the lawyers of the complainant had practically no questions for the witnesses who had tormented the AntAC team and Shabunin’s family aside Filimonenko.
Hryniov informed the court that he had willingly had his “internship” at Filimoneko’s, and the latter told him about “BBC standards” that he is allegedly guided by in his work. Actually, Hryniov gave no testimony on the merits of the case – he underlined that he was a third party, an intern, and he can “neither confirm, nor refute” numerous details and events that he became a witness of.
Answering a question about one of the episodes of tormenting Vitaliy’s family, Hryniov informed the court that Shabunin goes to church every Sunday, but he failed to explain where he and “his colleagues” had learnt that piece of information and how they got it as Vitaliy does not make it public.
Another witness questioned by the court is Oleksii Lypovetskyi. He filmed all the provocations by Filimonenko. He was the one that made video of the meeting in front of Vitaliy’s house, allegedly organized by the SBU.
Witness Lypovetskyi that also holds the journalist credentials by “Flash On Time News” – a site that had allegedly issued an editorial assignment to investigate Shabunin and the AntAC, could recall neither the editorial office address, nor any other editorial assignment issued by the editor-in-chief. “Journalist’s” answers to the questions about professional standards, journalist ethics, editorial statute and media law were similarly vague.
Moreover, Lypovetskyi informed the court that he did not edit or publish video made by him; as for the results of investigation about Shabunin, Ustinova and the AntAC team, he declared that it is not over yet and it is to be resumed after the court proceedings.
The next court hearing is scheduled for May 22.