Another Ukrainian journalist learns she's subject to court ruling on access to phone data
Another Ukrainian journalist, Kristina Berdynskykh of Novoe Vremya Weekly, has learnt from Chief Prosecutor Yuriy Lutsenko's secretary Larysa Sargan that she is subject to a Kyiv court ruling on investigators' access to her phone data.
Sargan wrote this in a comment under Berdynskykh's Facebook post on September 5, the Novoe Vremya portal reported.
Member of Parliament Svitlana Zalishchuk in turn said this information had been confirmed by Lutsenko himself.
"I've just met with the chief prosecutor on the case of Natalia Sedletska [the first journalist whose phone is subject to examination by prosecutors]. He told me that there is a court ruling not only on Natalia, but also on Kristina Berdynskykh," Zalishchuk wrote on Facebook on the same day.
"I've just learned there is a court ruling on me, too, which allows the PGO [the Prosecutor General's Office] to check my phone over the period of 1.5 years," Berdynskykh wrote on Facebook.
She also recalled that law enforcement agencies had been unable to track the source of one message threatening her way back in 2016. "I have only one request to ask those who will check my phone! There is one message, sent in 2016, which I do not delete – I have carefully been storing it, as the police have not been able for two years to establish anything – who sent it and who ordered to troll me in that, so terrible way. They checked that message for way too long and nothing happened. No one except me was questioned in relation to this case. The police then also asked me to write a request to close the case. Perhaps, the PGO will manage it better than the police," the journalist added.
She also posted the screenshot of that message, which said: "Kristina, one more article in those little magazines about [local gas trader] Kyivgaz, and your monument will be next to that of [Georgiy] Gongadze [a Ukrainian journalist, a co-founding editor of the Ukrayinska Pravda online newspaper, who was kidnapped and murdered in 2000]."
As was earlier reported, the Pechersk District Court of Kyiv on August 27 approved a request from Ukraine's Prosecutor-General's Office to let investigators review all cell-phone data from a 17-month period of investigative reporter Natalia Sedletska, the host of Schemes, the anti-corruption TV program by RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service. The ruling stems from a criminal investigation into the alleged disclosure of state secrets to journalists in 2017 by Artem Sytnyk, director of the National Anti-corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU).