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Ukraine court puts bank chief under house arrest after scuffle with journalists

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By Reuters
Ukraine court puts bank chief under house arrest after scuffle with journalists
Ukraine court puts bank chief under house arrest after scuffle with journalists   -   Copyright  Thomson Reuters 2021

KYIV – A Kyiv court on Monday ordered the suspended chairman of Ukraine’s third-largest bank to be put under house arrest while police continue to investigate a scuffle with journalists that took place in his office.

The court ordered Yevgen Metsger, the suspended chairman of the state-run Ukreximbank, to remain under house arrest between the hours of 10 pm and six am every night, the Kyiv city prosecutor’s office said in a statement.

Metsger could not immediately be reached for comment but he has previously apologised for what he described as an “overly emotional reaction and unrestrained behaviour towards the journalists”.

Last week, police and prosecutors launched an investigation after the news outlet Radio Liberty said staff at the bank attacked a team of its journalists who were investigating the bank’s lending practices and wanted to interview Metsger.

The supervisory board of Ukreximbank suspended Metsger and apologised to the journalists after Radio Liberty aired footage and audio of the incident.

“Two persons, the head of the bank and the official in charge of information policy have been placed under night house arrest,” the Kyiv prosecutor’s office said.

Radio Liberty said reporters from its programme “Schemes” are investigating a loan made by the bank. The bank has denied any wrongdoing over loans and said banking secrecy laws prevented it from discussing the matter.

Metsger has said he would resign if police found him guilty of committing a crime.