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Rada disbands commission investigating Artek child molestation case

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May 21, 2010, 5:53 p.m. | Ukraine — by Interfax-Ukraine

Kateryna Samoilyk, Communist Party faction: 'The investigation commission has not found enough evidence of the guilt of the former chief editor of Artek Magazine, Dmytro Poliukhovych, who is suspected of the sexual abuse of his foster children, or other people, to send the case to court'

The Verkhovna Rada has disbanded a commission investigating allegations of child molestation at Artek International Children's Camp. The parliamentarians heard a report by the head of the commission, MP Kateryna Samoilyk of the Communist Party faction.

The investigation commission has not found enough evidence of the guilt of the former chief editor of Artek Magazine, Dmytro Poliukhovych, who is suspected of the sexual abuse of his foster children, or other people, to send the case to court, Samoilyk said.

As reported, Regions Party MP Vadym Kolesnichenko said on October 13 that children had been raped at the Artek international children's center, and asked law enforcement agencies to prevent the closure of this criminal case.

The criminal case on child sex abuses at Artek is being investigated by the main investigative department of the Ukrainian Interior Ministry.

Interior Minister Yuriy Lutsenko said on October 14 that police had accused Dmytro Poliukhovych, the stepfather of two raped children, of child sex abuse, while a further three leaders of the Artek center were witnesses in the case, and they would most likely also be accused of committing this crime. He also said that reports are available to the ministry that a number of Ukrainian MPs are involved in this case.

On October 15-16, a number of Ukrainian newspapers (Ukraina Moloda, Segodnia, etc) published reports pointing to the surnames of BYT MPs allegedly involved in child sex abuse – Serhiy Teriokhin, Viktor Ukolov and Ruslan Bohdan. All of them denied their involvement in the case. The management of Artek also rebuffed allegations of sexual molestation of children at the children's center. The police are conducting a number of searches as part of the investigation into the case, particularly at the apartment of the center's director general, Borys Novozhylov.

A number of experts said that the scandal was connected with the presidential election campaign in Ukraine.
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