Ukreximbank Supervisory Board sacks CEO amid inquiry into assault on journalists

Ukreximbank Supervisory Board sacks CEO amid inquiry into assault on journalists

The Supervisory Board of Ukraine’s state-owned Ukreximbank has dismissed Chairman of the Board Yevhen Metsger, who had earlier been charged with the attack on a crew of RFE/RL’s local investigative project Skhemy.

That’s according to Ukreximbank's press service, Ukrinform reports.

“The Nomination Committee of JSC Ukreximbank’s Supervisory Board at an extraordinary meeting on possible measures to be taken (taking into account the conclusions of the Ethics Commission and the Status of the Inspection), received from Yevhen Volodymyrovych Metsger a statement of October 11, 2021, to terminate his fixed-term employment contract. The Nomination Committee, accordingly, issued an immediate recommendation to the Supervisory Board to terminate his powers from October 11, 2021, based on Part 1 Art. 39 of the Labor Code of Ukraine and the relevant clause of the employment contract with Yevhen Volodymyrovych Metsger. Termination of the employment contract in accordance with the specified grounds does not provide for severance pay," the statement reads.

Read also: Assault on journalists: New notice of suspicion handed over to Ukreximbank head

Serhiy Yermakov has been appointed acting Chairman of the Board from October 12, 2021, until a new chairman is elected in line with the proper competition procedure no later than April 12, 2022.

Yevhen Metsger, who was previously suspended from office, wrote a letter of resignation amid the inquiry into the obstruction of journalists’ work.

"Today I wrote a statement of resignation from a post of Chairman of the Board at JSC Ukreximbank. This is a logical step – the only possible one in a situation where implications for the bank must be averted," Metsger wrote on Facebook.

Read also: Assault on journalists: Two Ukreximbank officials served with notice of suspicion

He added that writing a resignation letter is his own assessment of what happened at the bank’s HQ. "I hope the step will help restore confidence in the bank," Metsger wrote, noting that "almost my entire career is connected with this bank. This is where I started working in 2006. Throughout this time, I’ve gone up the career ladder. In 2020, I took the helm of the bank."

As Ukrinform reported earlier, the Skhemy journalists’ crew said they had been assaulted on October 4 during an interview with Ukreximbank Board Chairman Yevhen Metsger. According to the journalists, Metsger did not like one of the questions, following which security guards used force against the cameraman and seized the crew’s gear and video materials. An hour later, the gear was returned with the video having been deleted – both of the interview and the assault.

Later, the journalists said they had hired IT experts who successfully recovered the video deleted by Ukreximbank employees.

Kyiv law enforcement have launched criminal proceedings into the obstruction of journalists’ work (Part 1 Article 171 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine).

On October 6, the Supervisory Board of Ukreximbank suspended Yevhen Metsger from office pending an inquiry.

On October 7, Kyiv City Prosecutor's Office pressed criminal charges against the two officials of Ukreximbank involved in what is seen as obstruction of journalists’ work.

On October 8, law enforcers added to Yevhen Metsger’s account abduction charges.


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