Thursday, December 26, 2013

Pshonka and Zakharchenko should step down, not lead Chornovol attempted murder case [updated]

I'm sure readers of this blog were just as appalled as your blogger when they read of the diabolical assault on Tetyana Chornovol.

Her reports featuring the wrongdoings of top Ukrainian politicians, including the president, have featured many times in 'ForeignNotes' over the years

"President Viktor Yanukovych's press service released a statement on Dec. 25, saying that the president condemned this act of violence and ordered Prosecutor General Viktor Pshonka and Interior Minister Vitaliy Zakharchenko to do everything to solve the case of Chornovol's beating."

A few hours before the incident Chornovol had posted a blog on the newly renamed 'YevropeyskaPravda' site entitled:

"The executioner lives here! The residence of "Minister of Internal Affairs Vitaliy Zakharchenko"

In any decent country Zakharchenko, as a possible suspect, would be immediately removed from further participation into the investigation of this dreadful crime, rather than shamelessly bragging about personally supervising the investigation, on this official video.

Because Chornovol was also simultaneously actively investigating the prosecutor-general Pshonka and his property, Pshonka too should have been completely isolated from participation in any law enforcement activities connected with this dreadful business.

If they were decent men, they would voluntarily step aside, if only temporarily, until the perpetrators are dealt with.

But they are not, and neither is the president - the man who has 'ordered' them to solve the case...

Pshonka, in 2001,  was allegedly involved in the murder of another journalist, Igor Aleksandrov, who was clubbed to death with baseball bats. Aleksandrov had been investigating Pshonka's son's links to local organised crime gangs.

Pshonka was a highly placed prosecutor in the Dontesk oblast from 1986 until 2003.  During this period, particularly in the the mid nineties, many dozens killings of top businessmen/crime bosses took place in the oblast. Few if any of these crimes were solved. Those guys who survived and prospered*, the Donetsk clan, now run Ukraine..

Chornovol's small automobile was forced off the road and was impacted many times by a Porsche Cayenne SUV, whilst driving along a busy highway late at night. The Porsche, according to some reports, was escorted by two other vehicles. Her assailants beat her severely causing several fractures, then left her for dead in a ditch. She is currently in intensive care in a serious but stable condition. This was unquestionably an attempted killing...not what the police have cynically and disgracefully labelled 'hooliganism' on their official site. Hooliganism encompasses many minor crimes.... like the painting of graffiti...

The assault was one of a series of what is looking ever more like an organised campaign of violence against many organisers of the Maidan. To date over 50 of them have been beaten; dozens of vehicles have been torched.

Taras Chornovil, [no relation to Chornovol] whose presidential candidate father was murdered over a decade ago,  has suggested that Zakharchenko has set up a band of 'werewolves' or 'eagles' similar to those involved in the killing of journalist Georgiy Gongadze and his father.

Tetyana Chornovol, a very high profile investigative journalist, had been a thorn in the sides of the authorities for many years. She had in the last few weeks figured in criminal cases. Yesterday was the first time she had left the Maidan for several weeks. She was constantly under surveillance and followed and harassed by law enforcement agents. Some degree of involvement by security forces is therefore quite probable...They would have known that last night, unusually, she was travelling home alone. She was found and taken to hospital by DAI road traffic police very quickly after the incident.

BBC, in their profile on Tetyana Chornovol today, include this: "In 2008, she was at the centre of a libel case in which Donetsk tycoon Rinat Akhmetov sued the Obozrevatel website in a London court over "false allegations" in her reports on his early career. The court awarded Mr Akhmetov $100,000 in damages."

I hope the lawyers who represented Akhmetov enjoyed spending their no doubt substantial fee..and choke on their Christmas pudding when they read the story....

Allegations will be made that Chornovol was beaten in an act of provocation to further ramp up anger against Yanukovych, and to revitalise the Maidan movement of which she is an active participant. Against the background of paid troublemakers a.k.a. 'titushky' at pro-government rallies, and the series of attacks against Maidan organisers, these allegations will have little traction..

Party of Regions' spokesman Olena Bondarenko, on the official PoR site, requests those with any information about the Chornovol attack to come forward, but in a mealy-mouthed response declares:

" the opposition has shown that it does not control the situation. And proof of this is the incident surrounding civic activist Tatyana Chornovol. Despite the fact that civic leaders take part in mass disturbances, smash windows, it is impermissible to commit violence against them"  in other words its all the fault of the opposition...

p.s. A while ago I ran this:

"By the end of the 90's, an unspoken agreement between the general public and these elites* was formed because the people in power that had grabbed former state property by force,  managed to set up certain rules of the game so ending the gangster lawlessness of the early 90's.

A mutually acceptable amnesia descended on the country, and the dangerous, lawless days of the early and mid-nineties were all but forgotten about by became a taboo subject. Society gave the appearance of having forgiven the country's elite in exchange for something that resembled civilised life." 

This amnesia is now lifting..

p.p.s. Say a little prayer for this brave, wonderful young woman tonight...

Update: Investigators are suggesting the brutal assault on Chornovol was a simple case of 'road rage'., the well-to-do perpetrators, who are allegedly members of Ukraine's rotten elite, wanted to teach the victim a lesson for cutting them up on the road.

This simply will not do...

Be sure, Chornovol's many journalist friends will get to the bottom of this...

1 comment:

Unknown said...

You are right on. Why are Pshonka and Zakharchenko in charge of leading the investigation? They are suspects for crying out loud!