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 Runaway Strana.UA Chief Editor Huzhva put on national wanted list

Shevchenkivskyi district court of Kyiv issued an arrest warrant for Ihor Huzhva, the chief editor of the Strana.UA online news outlet who earlier fled to Austria seeking political asylum.

As reported by Censor.NET referring to Channel 5, the court issued the arrest warrant under the request of the Prosecutor General's Office.

"The national arrest warrant is envisaged by the Criminal Procedure Code. The person evading the investigation is put on the wanted list. He will be detained when his whereabouts are established," a prosecutor explained.

However, Huzhva’s lawyers said their client was being treated abroad and planned to return to Ukraine on Feb. 20.

"I believe that this (issuance of the national arrest warrant - Ed.) is premature as the certificates confirming him receiving medical treatment have been submitted to the court. Therefore, this decision is premature," said Huzhva’s lawyer Olena Klymenko.

As reported, Huzhva was arrested in Kyiv on June 22, 2017. According to Ukraine's Prosecutor General Yurii Lutsenko, Huzhva extorted $10,000 in exchange for not publishing dirt on an incumbent politician.

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

Kyiv City Prosecutor's Office reported that Huzhva and his mediator had been detained on charges of large-scale extortion.

Huzhva was placed in a two-month pre-trial detantion with an option to post 544,000 hryvnia in bail. He was later bailed out and released from the pre-trial detention facility.

The editorial office was searched several times.

Huzhva fled to Austria and asked the country's authorities for political asylum on Feb.1, 2018.

Источник: https://censor.net.ua/en/n3050036