Journalists conquered the transnational corporation!


On 2 April the Appeal court of Kyiv issued the Resolution, by which it cancelled the decision of the Darnitsa district court of Kyiv of 10 December 2003 on the collection of 238500 hryvnas from the newspaper «Golos Ukrainy» and the same sum from journalist Sergiy Lavreniuk in favor of the oil company «TNK-Ukraina-Invest».

The oil company tried to derange the today’s sitting of the court: it annulled the letters of attorney of three its representatives and handed the petition about the replacement of one of these representatives. Yet, new representative Taras Karpechkin did not come to the sitting, since, according to the words of the workers of «TNK», who were present in the courtroom, he was making a business trip. Because of the absence of Karpechkin the court did not satisfy the petition and resolved to consider the case in absence of representatives of the plaintiff.

The decision of the Darnitsa court was cancelled on the formal basis because the case had been considered by the district court without the presence of the defendants and even without the proper informing of the newspaper «Golos Ukrainy» and journalist Sergiy Lavreniuk about the court sitting. The case «TNK» vs. «Golos Ukrainy» and Lavreniuk was directed for the repeated consideration to the Darnitsa court.

We want to point to the bravery of the judge collegium of the Appeal court chaired by judge V. Shimanskiy: it is not simple to dare to take a fair decision, when the claim was handed by a transnational corporation. Besides, the judges could play safe and postpone the sitting in order to wait till 22 April, when the Supreme Court would consider the cassation of «Golos Ukrainy» and Sergiy Lavreniuk against the first decision of the Darnitsa court on the acknowledgement as false of the information about «TNK-Ukraina-Invest», which information had been made public by S. Lavreniuk in the newspaper «Golos Ukrainy» (this decision was followed by another decision of the Darnitsa court on the collection of compensation from the newspaper and the journalist in favor of the corporation). Yet, the judges acted resolutely, they took the decision on the basis of facts and documents, without taking into account the future resolution of the Supreme Court.

2 April 2004

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