Media Law Institute conducts proceedings on behalf of journalist Sergei Leshchenko

January 24, 2012
January 18, 2012 began proceedings filed by Sergei Leshchenko, journalist of the online newspaper“Ukrainska Pravda”,  to the Ministry of Finance of Ukraine. Interests plaintiff in this case represented by Media Law Institute lawyers.

Sergei Leshchenko challenged the refusal of the Ministry of Finance of Ukraine to provide a copy of its letter dated June 16, 2011, addressed to the Cabinet of Ministers on account of
UESdebts to Russia, established as state. In a letter that hasn’t the security classification, noted that the Ministry has no information about UES debts to Russian entities and they are not recorded in the Ministry of Finance of Ukraine as state debts. Existence of such a letter is mentioned in a letter to Justice Minister Oleksandr Lavrynovych on June 24, 2011, said Ukrainska Pravda .

Request for a copy of this letter was filed pursuant to the Law of Ukraine “On Access to Public Information” on December 21, 2011. The Ministry during OctoberNovember 2011 three times refused a journalist to provide a document stating that it does not have its original, because the letter was sent to the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine. The government also refused to provide a copy of this letter, stating that the information provider is the Ministry of Finance of Ukraine.
Last meeting was held on Jan. 18 with the participation of two representatives of the Ministry of Finance of Ukraine, who have filed objections to the claim. In it they argue that after receiving the letter requested the Secretariat of the Cabinet manages the information (requested by letter), which is in his possession, and therefore only the Secretariat of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine may dispose of it.”

“In addition, it should be noted that the Ministry of Finance on January 13, 2012 received information from the Security Service of Ukraine … thaton November 1, 2011 during the investigation the criminal case number 660 by the Central Investigation Department of the SSU  during the original excavation requested letter was removed, admitted as a document in this criminal case, connected to it and kept at it” – said the objection claim.

However, in his requests Sergey Leshchenko asked to provide not original, but a copy of the letter. This copy is kept in the Ministry of Finance of Ukraine and isn’t classified as restricted information. In this situation according to the Law of Ukraine “On Access to Public Information” Ministry of Finance of Ukraine manages the public information contained in the above letter. By the same law administrator must provide documented public information on the request within five working days. Based on this line of the Law, the plaintiff intends to obtain the requested letter in the court.

Continued hearing held on January 30 at 11:45 at the District Administrative Court of Kyiv (str. Komandarm Kamenev, 8, building 1, floor. 3). The trial is open, but those who want to attend the hearing, please notify by telephone. 284-61-64 or by e-mail Representatives of the media are asked to specify their edition or channel, and to report about intention of photo-or video recording.