Ukraine tax police raid TV station before election

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July 12, 2012, 7:53 p.m. | Ukraine — by Reuters

Tax officer in TVi office


Ukraine's tax police raided the office of TVi television station on Thursday, three months before a parliamentary election, accusing the outlet, which is often critical of the government, of tax evasion.

TVi interrupted its usual programming to show tax inspectors browsing through heaps of financial documents in its Kiev office.

The State Tax Service said it had launched a criminal case against TVi's chief executive, Mykola Knyazhitsky, after finding out that the station had evaded more than 3 million hryvnias ($375,000) in VAT payments, the Interfax news agency reported.

TVi has challenged the back tax claim in court, Interfax said.

Batkivshchyna, the main opposition party, accused the government of censorship.

"Batkivshchyna view this cynical move by the authorities as yet another attempt to limit freedom of speech in the country and introduce political censorship at the television station under the cover of a criminal case," it said in a statement.

Opinion polls show that Batkivshchyna, led by jailed former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko, is close behind President Viktor Yanukovich's Party of the Regions in the run-up to the October elections.

TVi's management has said the station is owned by Konstantin Kagalovsky, a former shareholder of now-defunct Russian oil giant Yukos.

The Kyiv Post is hosting comments to foster lively debate. Criticism is fine, but stick to the issues. Comments that include profanity or personal attacks will be removed from the site. If you think that a posted comment violates these standards, please flag it and alert us. We will take steps to block violators.
David Willcox July 13, 2012, 1:41 a.m.    

It seems to me that your President just doesn't give a toss about any one or anything in his way~I really see a repeat of Romania in the 80's coming his way~but this time with his sons!~You can push people too far~it's getting close!

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Frederick Sass July 13, 2012, 3:22 a.m.    

Step 1.) Have your official opposition jailed on fabricated charges.
Step. 2.) Control the public media & silence any dissidents who disagree with you.
Step 3.) Burn the Reichstag. <insert governing body name here>
Step 4.) Assume dictatorship.

According to the above guide to assuming power, Yanukovych should now be ready for Step 3.)

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jnas July 13, 2012, 3:22 a.m.    

Stand up Ukrainians! It is time for a Labour party to secure the rights of common people.. Were isg!! Lech Walensa of Ukraine, were is the workingclass hero who puts his fellow citizens before stealin

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Bruce Zimmerman July 13, 2012, 3:47 p.m.    

Same thing every election, shut down the television and stop the news. If anyone had to win an election with the truth, it could never happen. So if the televison won't repeat the political lie and promote the corrupt politician, just charge them with tax evasion and pull their broadcst liscense. This has been a policy sice the early 1990's. If it works why change it is the thought of Ukraines corrupt and greedy politicans.

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