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Ukraine18 July 2002

Cancellation of TV station 1+1’s broadcasting licence confirmed

Reporters Without Borders protested today at a court decision to cancel the broadcasting licence of the privately-owned TV station 1+1, officially for not having paid its licence fee. The popular station had earlier reportedly been the target of a takeover bid.

"We know how the Ukrainian judiciary can speak for interests other than justice when it comes to media matters," said Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Robert Ménard in a letter to Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma. "We caution against the temptation to jeopardise the existence of the station and ask you to oppose any such move."

The station’s director-general, Alexander Rodnyansky, said the decision by the Kiev appeals court, confirming a lower court decision in February, was "arbitrary and absurd" and said he was lodging an appeal. This enables the station to continue broadcasting in the meantime.

He said "the simple existence of the station upsets some political and business elements" and accused businessman Vadim Rabinovich of being behind the action against 1+1, which he said he had tried to win control of. Rabinovich has denied any involvement in the matter.

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