What happens in most European countries when the government doesn’t like the work of a journalist? Not that much. What happens in Ukraine? Well I’ve been arrested and detained, deported twice, banned for three years (though I’m now told life).
And now, though I’ve been back in the UK for a month, Ukrainian authorities have been busy in my absence. I learned today, that they’ve obtained the right to all of my mobile phone records, since the 1st April 2014. I learned this, incidentally, via Ukrainian media. No one once notified, or even tried to notify me of this.
Their action actually comes when I’ve been back in London for a month doing a lot of work on the case of Barry Pring, with my report into his murder
contributing to the coroner arriving at a verdict of ‘unlawful killing’, with his wife, Anna Ziuzina (from Kiev) the de facto prime suspect.
It’s interesting that a country with aspirations to be in Europe, can act this way. Be sure, because the west wants to support Ukraine, there will be little or no coverage in western media. Imagine if it were Russia – seizing the phone records of an independent journalist…
Also, I note that in the 9 years they’ve had, the Ukrainian police have done nothing meaningful about solving the murder of Barry Pring, when there was only ever one prime suspect. It’s been 9 years of moving papers around, changing investigators, total inaction.
But, when it comes to seizing the phone records of an independent journalist, it turns out Ukraine can act pretty quickly! And while I’m not worried about what information they can access, I have no secrets, it certainly reveals a lot about Ukraine.