Ukrainian bank chief dismissed, put under house arrest after scuffle with journalists

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KYIV, October 11 (Businesshala) – Ukraine’s third-largest bank fired its chairman on Monday after a court in Kiev ordered him to be placed under house arrest while police investigate a scuffle with journalists in his office. Was getting it done.

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Last week, police and prosecutors launched an investigation after news outlet Radio Liberty said employees of state-run Ukreximbank attacked a team of its journalists who were investigating the bank’s lending practices.

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Ukreximbank’s supervisory board suspended its chairman, Yevgen Metsger, and apologized to journalists after Radio Liberty broadcast footage and audio of the incident. Metsger has said he would resign if the police found him guilty of the crime.

On Monday, a court ordered Metsger to be placed under house arrest every night between 10 a.m. and 6 a.m., the Kiev city prosecutor’s office said in a statement.

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“Two persons, the head of the bank and the officer-in-charge of information policy, have been placed under house arrest during the night,” it said.

Metsger could not immediately be reached for comment but has previously apologized for what he described as “extremely emotional reactions and unrestrained behavior towards journalists”.

The bank’s supervisory board issued a statement on Monday evening, saying Metsger had formally initiated “termination of the fixed-term employment contract on its own initiative” and was subsequently dismissed.

The bank said it had appointed an interim chairman until a permanent replacement is found next April.

Radio Liberty said journalists on its program “Schemes” were investigating the bank’s loans. The bank has denied any wrongdoing in the loans and said that banking secrecy laws have prevented it from discussing the matter.

Radio Liberty said it had managed to restore footage of the confrontation with Metsugar, despite the bank’s attempt to remove it. In the video, Metsger is heard refusing to give an interview and ordering employees to confiscate the cameras and destroy all footage.

Editing by Mathias Williams, Mark Potter and Nick McPhee

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