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TV 5 gains review of its legal wrangle with Khoroshkovsky

The Kyiv Administrative Court of Appeal has allowed the appeal brought by Channel 5 over allocation of frequencies. According to the Channels press service, the relevant rulings were received on 9 August.
The court declared unlawful and revoked the ruling allowing a suit by MUSIC-TV which is part of the Inter Media Group against the National Television and Radio Broadcasting Council. The suit appealed against the winners of a tender for frequencies from 27 January 2010.

The court also ruled that the administrative case over this suit should be passed according to territorial jurisdiction to the District Administrative Court in Kyiv.

The issue of the frequencies and role of the Inter Media Group and the Security Service [SBU] which is headed by the owner of Inter have aroused considerable concern. As reported here, in June the District Administrative Court in Kyiv annulled the results of the tender for broadcasting licenses held by the National Television and Radio Broadcasting Council on 27 January. The official applicants were the TV companies NTN, Enter Film, and Enter Music which are all part of the Inter Media Group, very closely connected with Valery Khoroshkovsky, Head of the Security Service [SBU] and his wife.

In April U.A. Inter Media Group which is a Kyiv-based media holding company gave up the broadcasting licence it received on 27 January and claimed that the tender had been held in breach of the law. As a result of that tender 33 frequencies were allocated to TVi; 26 to Channel 5 and 20 to the Inter Media Group.

As reported back in April (http://www.khpg.org.ua/en/index.php?id=1270822965 ), TVi publicly called on the President to stop SBU using its official powers to influence the Broadcasting Council. It claimed that in this it was serving Khoroshkovskys business interests.

At the time, the story gained a lot of publicity and the SBU backed down, claiming that it was all a spelling mistake and that TVi had been muddled with a foreign company.

The General Producer of TVi Serhiy Demyanchuk in an interview to the BBC Ukrainian Service accused the Head of the SBU of using his position not only for his own business interests, which is it itself unacceptable, but also to put pressure on other channels. He said that this was an obstruction of freedom of speech.

Mr Khoroshkovsky officially withdrew from active involvement in the media holding in connection with receiving a public appointment in 2008 however his wife became the new director. The BBC points out that in a recent television show, Anna Herman, the Deputy Head of the Presidents Administration called Khoroshkovsky himself the owner of the television channel Inter.