According to former chief military prosecutor Viktor Chumak, a private structure could not attract 30 people to set up surveillance of journalists.
The team of the investigative journalism project Bihus.Info could be monitored by representatives of the government department, who recorded on video some details of the corporate event with the possible use of prohibited substances. The version that proposes to look for attackers inside state institutions was proposed by the former acting Prosecutor General (from March 6 to March 17, 2020) and ex-chief military prosecutor (2019-2020) Viktor Chumak on the air of the Kiev 24 TV channel.
The TV channel journalist recalled that the surveillance of journalists was extensive – “there was a whole production” the day before the corporate event and the day after it. Members of the investigative team suggest that government intelligence agencies may be behind this. Viktor Chumak analyzed the known information and noted that such surveillance could indeed have been carried out by some agency, and not a private structure.
A special operation of unreal proportions: Bihus.Info believes that they were ordered by influential people (video)
The ex-prosecutor gave several arguments in favor of his version.
Firstly, people who installed cameras for illegal surveillance showed their documents in the hotel complex. If it turns out that these are cover documents, then the SBU, at the request of the court, will be able to easily identify both the agency and the responsible persons.
“I very much doubt that all of them were there with cover documents. But even if they used such documents, then these documents are very easily opened by the relevant services at the request of the court. If there are cover documents there, then we can really say that some kind of person was doing this. it’s a public service.”
Secondly, many people were involved in the surveillance device – 30 people, Denis Bigus reported on January 19. A government agency can easily attract such a number of people, but for a private one it is problematic,” the interlocutor assured journalists.
“In terms of the volume of people involved, it really looks like someone from the government services did their best. Because not a single private service can gather 30 people, but a government service can.”
Chumak did not explain which agency could arrange such surveillance measures.
Viktor Chumak is a 65-year-old reserve major general of justice, who after the Revolution of Dignity in 2014 was deputy head of the committee on combating organized crime of the Verkhovna Rada, and before that (2012-2014) headed this committee. After Vladimir Zelensky became president of Ukraine, Chumak was acting prosecutor general, and his successor was Irina Venediktova, who was confirmed in the position in March 2020.
Surveillance of journalists – details of the case Bihus.Info
It should be noted that on January 16, videos were published online in which several members of the Bihus.Info project team allegedly used prohibited substances during a New Year’s corporate party. The founder of the project, Denis Bigus, said that these workers would be fired, and the rest would be checked for traces of drug use. The journalist also said that his team plans to independently find out who took the scandalous footage.
The SBU said that it had opened criminal proceedings into the use of devices for illegal collection of information. Service workers arrived at the hotel complex where the corporate party was taking place and confiscated recordings from CCTV cameras installed by the owners.
Meanwhile, journalists found out that the placement of illegal video cameras was carried out by 30 unknown persons who rented premises in the Ukrainian Hut ethnic complex on the outskirts of Kyiv. At the same time, they noted that the portal that published the scandalous post removed it from the network.
We remind you that on January 15, investigative journalist Yuri Nikolov said that unknown persons tried to break into his apartment. On January 19, the media reported on the journalist’s latest investigation: he investigated the cost of food in student canteens in Kyiv.