08:08 GMT28 May 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - A Kherson court will consider whether or not to extend the arrest of RIA Novosti Ukraine web portal head Kirill Vyshinsky on December 26, the journalist’s lawyer told Sputnik on Saturday.

    "The Kherson court will start considering a prosecution motion to extend the arrest on December 26 at 11:15 local time [09:15 GMT]", Andrei Domansky said.

    It is already known that the prosecution requests to extend the arrest for 50 days. The motion will be considered by Galina Radchenko, the same judge who ruled to extend the arrest during the November hearing until December 28, and whom the defence unsuccessfully sought to replace, the lawyer said.

    READ MORE: Kirill Vyshinsky: Ukraine's SBU Claims I'm Not a Journalist are Absurd

    Domansky refused to disclose the tactics, and answer whether the defence would apply for the removal of the judge this time.

    Vyshinsky was detained in Kiev on May 15 on suspicion of supporting the breakaway republics of Donbas and treason. Given the charges, the journalist may face up to 15 years in prison.

    On May 17, a court of the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson ruled to remand Vyshinsky in custody. The defence appealed the arrest, but the court dismissed the appeal. During a court hearing, Vyshinsky asked for help from Russian President Vladimir Putin. He also said that he would give up his Ukrainian citizenship.

    Putin has said that Vyshinsky's arrest was politically motivated, adding that the incident demonstrated an unprecedented and unacceptable policy of Ukrainian authorities targeting journalists doing their jobs. The Russian Foreign Ministry has protested to Kiev, calling on the incumbent authorities to stop the crackdown on media.

    READ MORE: US to Boost Funding for Ukrainian Navy After Kerch Row With Russia

    Harlem Desir, the representative on freedom of the media at the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), has also expressed his concern over Ukraine's actions toward Vyshinsky and called for the journalist's release. Commenting on the situation, OSCE Secretary General Thomas Greminger said that all OSCE member states should comply with international standards and avoid interfering in the media's work.


    Kirill Vyshinsky: Ukraine’s SBU Claims I’m Not a Journalist are Absurd
    Ukrainian Court Upholds Journalist Vyshinsky Arrest
    Keeping Vyshinsky in Custody is 'Violation of Media Freedom' - EU Journo Group
    Berlin Demands Kiev Speed Up Vyshinsky Court Process - German Foreign Ministry
    arrest, court, Kirill Vyshinsky, Ukraine, Russia
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