13:04 GMT30 October 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The defence team of RIA Novosti Ukraine portal head Kirill Vyshinsky will file later on Monday a new petition to Podolsky district court in Kyiv, asking it to change the pre-trial restriction and release the journalist under his personal guarantee, Vyshinsky's lawyer, Andrei Domansky, told Sputnik ahead of the court hearing.

    "Today [the hearing will focus] on changing the pre-trial restriction, including in regard with studying the petition that the defence will file," Domansky said.

    He added that it was too early to make any forecasts about the court's decision.

    "I don't know what pre-trial restriction the court will choose. We are filing a petition [on releasing Vyshinsky] under a personal guarantee, Kirill's personal guarantee. Maybe this will be his [guarantee], maybe someone else's," Domansky specified.

    The lawyer said that it was yet uncertain whether Vyshinsky would then stay in his flat in Kyiv.

    "It depends on what the court says," Domansky explained.

    The press secretary of the Ukrainian prosecutor general, Larysa Sargan, voiced the belief earlier in the day that the court could rule to release Vyshinsky. According to Domansky, Sargan's statement proves that no risk will emerge if the pre-trial restriction is changed.

    "They don't have a single proof that there are any risks connected with change of Vyshinsky's pre-trial restriction," Domansky said.

    "With such statements, prosecution officials prove that there are no such risks," Domansky emphasized.

    Vyshinsky was detained in Kyiv on May 15, 2018 on suspicion of supporting the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk people's republics in the east of Ukraine and treason, and has been held in custody since then. Along with repeatedly prolonging the journalist's arrest, the court has also refused to move him from a detention facility to house arrest.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that Vyshinsky's arrest is politically motivated and demonstrates the former Ukrainian authorities' unacceptable policy of targeting journalists.

    Harlem Desir, the representative on freedom of the media at the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), has also expressed concern over Ukraine's actions toward Vyshinsky and called for the journalist's release, stressing that all OSCE members have pledged to create the necessary conditions to allow journalists to work freely.

    release, court, Ukraine, Russia
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