13.04.2004 | Aleksey Svetikov, Severodonetsk

Attempt of a party leader to collect 1 million hryvnas from two newspapers failed


The Rubezhnoe town court refused to satisfy the claim of Konstantin Koziuberda, the leader of the town organization of the PSPU, against the newspapers «Rubizhanski novyny» and «Vestnik krasitelia». The party leader demanded to protect his honor and dignity, and to recompense him the moral damage equivalent to 1 million hryvnas.

The claim against the editorial boards and MP Yu. Ioffe was handed after the publication by the newspapers of the open letter of the MP to four party and public leaders of Rubezhnoe, in which the MP negatively assessed the activities of these leaders. During the trial K. Koziuberda explained that the size of the compensation was connected with the deterioration of his health as a result of the publication of the letter and with the fact that he had hoped to take part, as a candidate, in the Presidential election-2004, which became impossible after this publication.

The interests of the editorial boards of the Rubezhnoe newspapers were represented by a lawyer of the Lugansk branch of the Voters’ Committee of Ukraine (VCU), who insisted that, according to the Law of Ukraine «On printed mass media», the editorial boards, which literally published the letter passed to the newspapers by an official person, an MP, might not be brought to responsibility even if the information was not true. Yet, the worker of the VCU reckons that there was no untrue information in the letter, and the statements, against which the plaintiff complained, were, in fact, evaluative judgments of the MP about the political activities of the claimant and did not contain any factual data. And evaluative judgments must not be refuted or proved in court.

The court agreed with the arguments adduced by the representative of the defendants and rejected the claim of K. Koziuberda. We believe that there are very few chances that the claimant will appeal against this court decision, first of all because the litigation fee for bringing in the appeal is 250 hryvnas. By the way, in the course of the court consideration the plaintiff decreased the demanded sum of compensation from one million to 10 thousand hryvnas. He explained that he could not afford to pay the fee envisaged by the operating law (100 thousand hryvnas).

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