Editor of the newspaper “Demokratichna Nosivshchina” (the Chernigiv oblast) is a plaintiff and a defendant at the same time
An interesting juridical collision occurred in the town of Nosivka of the Chernigiv oblast. The town court simultaneously considered two cases concerning the newspaper “Demokratichna Nosivshchina” (an edition of the district organization of the Peoples Rukh of Ukraine) and its editor Mykola Efimenko. At that M. Efimenko was a plaintiff in one case and a defendant, together with his newspaper, -- in another one.
Both conflict situations began more than a year ago, during the election to the Parliament and local organs of state power. The newspaper “Demokratichna Nosivshchina” criticized Oleksandr Volkov, a candidate to the Supreme Rada from his district. District state newspaper “Nosivski visti” and local TV company “Obriy” supported Volkov. “Demokratichna Nosivshchina”, in its turn, started the polemics with these mass media; in particular, it published a critical material about “Obriy”.
Another conflict emerged in the connection with the fact that editor of “Demokratichna Nosivshchina” Mykola Efimenko ran for the post of Nosivka mayor. Three days before the election the newspaper “Nosivski visti” printed in its special issue two critical materials about M. Efimenko. Efimenko had no time and opportunity to response to these materials in the same newspaper.
The election finished. O. Volkov became an MP, M. Efimenko was not elected to mayors post. And the Nosivka court got two claims on the protection of honor and dignity during the election campaign. Mykola Efimenko brought a suit against the newspaper “Nosivski visti”, he pointed out that the publication of the critical materials about him on the eve of the election was a direct violation of the election laws.
Head of the TV company “Obriy” G. Voytok handed a claim against “Demokratichna Nosivshchina” and its editor for the above-mentioned publication concerning his company. He also reckoned that the newspaper insulted his honor and dignity and the organization headed by him.
Both cases were considered by the same judge – O. Kireev. The result was the following: the claim of M. Efimenko against the newspaper “Nosivski visti” was rejected, in other words, neither insults nor violations of the election laws were found in the materials published by the newspaper. (By the way, Mykola Efimenko demanded, if the verdict would be issued in his favor, to regard the mayors election as illegal). The claim of G. Voytok against the newspaper “Demokratichna Nosivshchina” and its editor was satisfied, and the defendants were obliged to pay rather great sum to G. Voytok for recompensing the moral damage.
For several times Mykola Efimenko asked to replace judge O. Kireev, but the judge rejected the challenges by himself and completed the case. M. Efimenko told that the challenges were caused the fact that some time ago his newspaper published a critical article about judge Kireev describing the case, where the judge demonstrated his incompetence and issued the unjust decision. After all the newspaper turned out to be right: the decision of the judge was cancelled by the oblast court. Yet, the judge acknowledged that his conflict with the newspaper was not a sufficient reason for the challenge.
Besides, along with the claim of G. Voytok, which has been already satisfied by the court, there is another claim of the TV company “Obriy” against the same defendants.
So, in such way two cases in Nosivka were completed. Yet, the second case will have the continuation: M. Efimenko handed the cassation against the court decision on G. Voytoks claim. We will see later whether this cassation will be considered.
The newspaper "Sivershchina" (Chernigiv), from the edition of “Informatsiyny bulleten” – the newspaper “Svoboda slova”, No. 1-3 2003