KIEV, June 1. /TASS/. When leaving RIA Novosti Ukraine Editor-in-Chief Kirill Vyshinsky under arrest, Kherson Court of Appeals did not take into consideration the evidence provided by the defense, a lawyer for the journalist, Andrei Domansky, said on Friday after a court hearing.
"The court did not take into consideration the evidence [provided by the defense,]" he noted. "However, this does not mean that Kirill was actually found guilty." Domansky highlighted that "prosecuting [his defendant] for his professional activity is nonsense."
The lawyer did not answer whether Vyshinsky’s renunciation of Ukrainian citizenship would affect his case. "I cannot comment on how it will affect the case, as it is unclear yet whether [Ukrainian President Pyotr] Poroshenko will approve it," he noted, explaining that "this issue will be addressed at another level." That said, Domansky affirmed that the defense lawyers "will continue to look for possibilities to change his pre-trial restrictions."
On May 15, the Ukrainian Security Service (USS) carried out a massive operation against the staff of RIA Novosti Ukraine. RIA Novosti Ukraine Editor-in-Chief Kirill Vyshinsky was arrested near his house in the early hours of morning. Then the USS searched through the agency’s central office in Kiev, its press center and flats of some reporters.
On May 17, Kherson City Court arrested Vyshinsky for two months on charges of treason. The journalist faces up to 15 years behind bars. More than 40 employees of the agency were summoned to the USS for interrogation.
On Friday, June 1, Kherson Regional Court of Appeals left the ruling to arrest Vyshinsky for 60 days unchanged. Vyshinsky has Ukrainian and Russian citizenship; he achieved the second citizenship in 2015. Ahead of the verdict announcement the journalist addressed Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko from the courtroom, saying he was going to abandon Ukrainian citizenship and that he considered himself a Russian citizen only. The editor-in-chief also addressed Russian President Vladimir Putin, asking him to provide legal support for his release.