Kiev releases journalist Vyshinsky from custody

Kiev releases journalist Vyshinsky from custody

A court in Kiev has changed the restrictive measure against the editor of the RIA Novosti Ukraine news agency, Kirill Vyshinsky, from arrest to release on his own recognizance.

"The previous decision shall be canceled and the defense’s request sustained to change the restrictive measure from custody at a detention prison in Kiev to release on his own recognizance," TASS cited the judge as saying.

Vyshinsky was set free in the courtroom. In total, he has spent 400 days in custody.

The court ruled that the journalist is obliged to report to court upon demand, refrain from contacting witnesses in this criminal case and notify the court about any changes concerning his place of residence and work. Vyshinsky agreed with these obligations by signing a written promise. The journalist’s passport will be kept at the prosecutor’s office. The defense lawyers are going to request the return of his ID.

Vyshinsky said that he doesn't have any plans right now, but assured that he intends to participate in his trial in Kiev.  "I have no legal and human reasons to hide from the judicial investigation, since, as I have been saying from the very first day of my detention [...] the accusations that I face are so very absurd that it's in my interests to study them during a court process and prove [...] the futility of these charges," Sputnik cited the journalist as saying.

He also recalled that he had refused to take part in an exchange of prisoners a long time ago and that his position on the matter hasn't changed since then.

Following the court's decision, Vyshinsky said that his incarceration was an attempt by previous President Petro Poroshenko to raise his ratings. The journalist added that this move cost Poroshenko his seat and Vyshinsky himself – his freedom.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova commented on the court decision to release the journalist. "Vyshinsky’s release from custody is the first step to justice for him," she noted.

Vyshinsky was detained by the Ukrainian security service SBU on May 15, 2018. He was charged with high treason and illegal keeping of weapons. A court in Kherson on May 17, 2018 arrested him for two months. The restrictive measure was prolonged eight times. Charges against Vyshinsky are particularly based on a number of the journalist’s articles dedicated to the 2014 events in Crimea. If found guilty, the journalist may face up to 15 years.