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29.12.2003

Editorial board of “Vechernie visti” is the defendant in 13 cases on the total sum of more than one million hryvnas

   

Stanislav Rechinskiy:

The number of claims against our newspaper and the sums, which the plaintiffs exact from us for the moral damage, can have two meanings: either the journalists of “VV” are utterly unprofessional or the newspaper is persecuted by somebody’s order. I believe that the professionalism of the newspaper should be estimated by our readers.

The majority of the claims against our newspaper concern not the facts, but the evaluative statements. For example, a former head of the DFOC has brought a suit recently, in which he demands to recognize as “ungrounded and insulting” the following fragments of the article “Snake’s nest and dead scapegoats”, which article concerned the case of Gongadze and the activities of the DFOC: “Nikolay Dzhiga is a master of illegal special operations”, “They will kidnap, torture and murder” and “… they were brought up in the menagerie of Leonid Kuchma” (two latter quotations were devoted to the DFOC. – Editor’s note)

It is interesting that in his writ Nikolay Dzhiga acknowledges: “The mentioned statements are the evaluative judgments, which are ungrounded and insulting both by form and by substance”. Yet, nobody may be brought to responsibility for evaluative judgments!

One more claimant, a judge, wants to obtain 100 thousand hryvnas for the moral damage. The judge declares in his claim that his business reputation was undermined as a result of making public by “VV” of the complaint of convict Georgiy Yanev, which contained a number of unpleasant statements about the judge. The judge believes that the journalist permitted himself a number of pronouncements, which insulted him. For instance, the judge is displeased by the fact that he was called “a brother-in-arms” of Aleksandr Lupeyko, the notorious Bila Tserkva prosecutor. Maybe, the journalist had to call him “an accomplice”? This case promises to be very interesting. At the fist court sitting the journalist asked to summon some witnesses. However, he did not specify, who were these witnesses, since the judge asked him to present this petition at the next sitting. On the next day a stranger phoned to one of the witnesses and threatened him. The judge wants to get 50 thousand hryvnas from the journalist and the same sum – from the editorial board. 100 thousand is a great sum. Yet, the moral damage was, perhaps, significant too.

 («Vechernie visti», 10 November 2003, «Ukraina kriminalnaya», 3 November 2003)

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