11:07 06.02.2018

Huzhva says court decides to arrest him

Huzhva says court decides to arrest him

Chief editor of the Internet news website Strana.ua Ihor Huzhva, who has asked for political asylum in Austria, has said that a court ruled to arrest him and deliver him to a hearing.

"Yesterday the court ordered my arrest and forcible delivery to a court hearing (if that doesn't happen, then the next step is for them to put me on a wanted list). Simultaneously, the Presidential Administration of Ukraine instructed that pressure be exerted on Austria through diplomatic channels with the aim of extraditing me to Ukraine," Huzhva said on his Facebook page on Tuesday.

Huzhva said he did not rule out that Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko would raise the issue of his extradition when he makes his planned trip to Vienna, Austria, this week.

"So, the battle continues. But we look at things soberly and are ready," Huzhva said.

Huzhva was arrested in Kyiv on June 22, 2017. According to Ukraine's Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko, Huzhva demanded $10,000 in exchange for not publishing compromising materials against an incumbent politician.

On June 23, Dmytro Linko, a Verkhovna Rada deputy from the Radical Party faction, confirmed that Huzhva had demanded money from him.

Kyiv City Prosecutor's Office reported that Huzhva and his mediator had been detained on suspicion of large-scale extortion under Part 3, Article 189 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine.

Huzhva was arrested for two months with an option to post UAH 544,000 bail. The bail was later posted, and he left the pretrial detention center.

On January 31, 2018, Huzhva said he had fled to Vienna, where he planned to ask for political asylum.

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