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Journalist Savik Shuster Loses Ukrainian Work Permit, Faces Deportation

Savik Shuster

Journalist Savik Shuster is facing a prison term or deportation from Ukraine after Ukrainian authorities annulled his work permit on Tuesday.

Shuster responded to the decision by saying that the authorities had judged him guilty before a case against him was tried by a court.

In January, a criminal case against his company, Savik Shuster Studio, was opened on charges of tax evasion, following an investigation by Ukraine's Prosecutor General in 2015.

The journalist rebuffed investigation results during his weekly “Shuster Live” talk show, saying that his company was one of the main taxpayers in the region. Ukraine's tax inspection agency claims Shuster company's tax evasion is estimated at over 34 million rubles ($523,000).

Savik Shuster was a prominent television persona in Russia and moved to Ukraine in 2005. He hosted a number of political talk shows on Ukrainian television and received an honorary award from the government of Ukraine for his work as a journalist in 2012.

Shuster has Canadian and Italian citizenships.

On September 18, “Shuster Live” was canceled shortly before going on air on Ukraine's 1+1 television channel. The channel's press service said in a statement that society in Ukraine was already “extremely tense and politicized and that the channel was not prepared to heat it up further.”

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