Today representatives of the patient and anti-corruption organizations have organized a protest action in front of the Podolsk district court demanding to close the case and stop placing pressure on the activists. The fact is that “Bohatyreva’s witnesses”, people who worked with her at the MoH and dealt with procurement of medicine, filed a case against the teams of CF “Patients of Ukraine” and the Anti-Corruption Action Center.
The activists and patients conducted a special test for “Bohatyreva’s witnesses” for their sanity because people involved in the procurement of medicines in the days of Bohatyreva and now ‘arguing’ against it cannot be sane, as the activists consider.
As a reminder, Mr. Dmytro Pidturkin, a former adviser of the ex-minister of health Raisa Bohatyreva, and a member of 12 MoH working groups on a part-time basis goes into litigation with the CF “Patients of Ukraine” and the Anti-Corruption Action Center. The reason for the case is the article written by Olga Stefanyshyna in the Ukrainska Pravda paper “How Pharmaceutical Dealers Discredit International Organizations Procuring Medicines“, where Dmytro Pidturkin is mentioned as the medical expert and procurement adviser in 2011-2013 for Raisa Bohatyreva. He argues his work with Raisa Bohatyreva and assures that he only acted as a formal advisor. According to Mr. Pidturkin, claims of the activists resulted in his “loss of close associates and friends whom he knew for many years” and brought “thrills and distress of soul”.
“It is absurd as the Bohatyreva’s team being on an international wanted list for plundering state property instead of sitting in the prisoner’s box files a case against the activities who for years have been fighting against corruption at the Health Ministry”, states Oleksandra Ustinova, a Board Member of the Anti-Corruption Action Center. “A case against us was brought by Dmytro Pidturkin, who worked in the team with Roman Bohachev, Bohatyreva’s deputy and head of the MoH Tender Committee, the person of interest in several criminal cases for plundering state property. These Pidturkin’s actions prove that Bohatyreva’s team members cherish ambitious plans to return to the MoH and do everything to whitewash their image and to discredit people who disrupt this”.
“This court is nothing but a reprisal against the patients and activists who stand for international procurement of the medicines. It was in the days of Bohatyreva, when MoH tenders laundered up to 40% of funds. Now these funds will bring additional medicines to the patients. Nonetheless, “Bohatyreva’s witnesses”, people who worked with her at the MoH, want to return and roll back the reform. Almost a year they conducted a smear campaign against us blaming us in treachery and when this campaign failed they resorted to litigation”, says Olga Stefanyshyna, the Executive Director of the CF “Patients of Ukraine”. “All patients who stood for access to treatment in 2011-2013 know that it was Dmytro Pidturkin who acted as the MoH procurement advisor. It is insane to demand refutation of this information”, she adds.
The activists are hoping for an objective judgment, which will show that this lawsuit is persecution of the activists for their fight against corruption schemes.
“The claim is unfounded because the plaintiff’s lawyer provided documents confirming that Dmitro Pidturkin was the health minister adviser and also the member of the working groups addressing various issues related to medicines. This is the evidence that the information in the article is true”, reports Vira Krat, lawyer of the CF “Patients of Ukraine”
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