Artek director receives intimidation calls from unidentified person

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Date Published: 10/25/2009
Publication: Kyiv Post (Ukraine)
Borys Novozhylov, the director-general of the Artek international children's centre (Crimea)
Borys Novozhylov, the director-general of the Artek international children's centre (Crimea)

Borys Novozhylov, the director-general of the Artek international children’s centre (Crimea), received intimidation calls from an unidentified person, Yurii Lutsenko, the minister of interior affairs, has told the press on October 26 in Simferopol.

In his words, the investigation has found out that a Ukrainian resident called Novozhylov and uttered threats of killing him if not obey his demands.

“A call from a citizen residing in a Ukrainian city came. He threatened to ‘turn the counter on’ in three days starting from Saturday [October 24] for the director of Artek. If he does not fulfill his demands, he said this would be his last day, he would be murdered,”

Lutsenko did not specify the demands pressed to Novozhylov.

Police have not yet detained the caller.

“This can be a call from an inadequate person under the influence of all that hysteria unwound around this case, but maybe this is a serious intimidation, so we posted guards for Novozhylov,” the minister said.

He says that the investigation is still carrying out expert examinations for the case of corruption of minors in Artek.

Lutsenko says the investigation has a problem, since part of the lawyers want to shift this case into the political plain.

As to him, for the last three years more than 700 children were sexually abused but parliamentarians are interested only in ‘hot’ facts with political implication.

As Ukrainian News earlier reported, Liudmyla Lozova, the press secretary of Novozhylov, said that police guards had been posted near Novozhylov, who is presently at the Feofania clinical hospital in Kyiv.

Novozhylov was taken to the Feofania clinical hospital at about 7pm on October 18.

Police searched apartments belonging to Novozhylov’s relatives in Kyiv on October 16.

The main police department is investigating a criminal case (opened under Article 156 of the Penal Code of Ukraine) connected with allegations of sexual abuse of children at Artek.

A suspect has been arrested in connection with this criminal case, and a court has extended the period of detention of the suspect to four months.

Webzines published a copy of an appeal made to President Viktor Yuschenko (allegedly drafted by Parliamentary Deputy Hryhorii Omelchenko of the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc) by parliamentary deputies, in which they claimed that Artek’s Director-General Novozhylov, the centre’s chief doctor Heinrich Ratt, its priest Vadym Paevksyi, and Parliamentary Deputy Viktor Ukolov of the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc were involved in harassment of children at the Artek international children’s center.

According to media reports that emerged later, parliamentary deputies Serhii Teriokhin and Ruslan Bohdan (both members of the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc) are also involved in the case.

All these parliamentary deputies have denied involvement in the case.