Case № 910/14668/17

Journalists against Gunchyk: denationalization – in court!

The editorial board of the Volyn newspaper, headed by the Honored Journalist of Ukraine, chairman of the social organization “Ukrainian Journalists Forum” and deputy head of the regional organization of National Union of Journalists of Ukraine, Volodymyr Danyliuk, appealed to the court on the subject of Volyn Regional State Administration incentive to conclude an agreement which will lead to the full denationalization of the publication. In violation of the Law of Ukraine “On the reformation of state and communal printed mass media” since December 24, 2015 and the Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine No. 848 dated 23 November 2016, the head of the regional state administration Volodymyr Gunchyk refuses to sign the agreement stipulated in Article 7, which deliberately prevents the publication from being denationalized. There is no other way to solve the problem except the court.

That pitiful story began two years ago, when the editorial office of Volyn newspaper, after repeated and ineffective appeals to various authorities (including the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko), declared a solid intention to begin denationalization after the adoption of the relevant Law, published on November 5, 2015 the article “The newspaper without Gunchyk”, emphasizing that: “Better to die in battle than to live as a slave!”. We received the response from the governor and his subordinates immediately: in a week Volodymyr Gunchyk signed an order on the regional state administration withdrawal from the co-founders of the newspaper unilaterally, and in a week – put forward an unreasonable demand to transfer to the budget 24% of the authorized capital…

The above-mentioned was done in order to eliminate the rebellious “Volyn newspaper” from the process of denationalization, to destroy us morally and materially. It is known that all this time and until now the editorial board has received no penny of support from the budget, although this is provided by the current legislation … Finally, we do not ask for anything.

But statutory documents during the term of the chairman of the regional state administration Volodymyr Bondar was formed in such a way that the question of belonging to the number of co-founders or leaving them belongs to the competence of the general meeting. They took place in the early January 2016, when the long-suffering denationalization law came into force, and Volyn newspaper was included into the first stage of denationalization by the Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine No. 848.

Bureaucratic procrastination lasted for a long time, but eventually, on March 28, 2017 Volyn Newspaper received the status of a new legal entity and was included into the United State Register of Legal Entities, Individual Entrepreneurs and Public Associations. To obtain a new certificate on the printed media, the publication turned to the Main Territorial Department of Justice, where they replied: it is necessary to conclude an agreement with the regional state administration. But Volodymyr Gunchyk refused to sign it again. Therefore, there was no other way to go to the court. In our case – only to the Commercial Court of Kyiv.
Judge Svitlana Chebykina appointed a review of the statement of claim of Volyn newspaper for 11 h.10 min on September 20, 2017 Although there was practically no time for preparation (the letter with the judge’s decision was dated 1 September, and the editorial board received it only in the evening of the 15th of September), the editor’s representative went to the capital … There came also a representative of the defendant – the head of the Legal Department of Regional State Administration Vitaliy Potapenko.
Judge Svitlana Chebykina listened to the arguments of two parties, but because of the fact that she did not receive a timely return on the claim from Volodymyr Gunchyk’s office; the judge postponed the trial on October 25, 2017.
The fight for the freedom of speech continues.
The editorial board

Photo of the press service of Commercial Court of Kyiv: there is a newspaper process against the head of the Regional State Administration Volodymyr Gunchyk.

 

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