Feodosia newspaper «Kafa» defended in court the right for the freedom of speech


On 31 March the Feodosia newspaper «Kafa» won the trial against a private person. The trial lasted since the middle of 2003. The claim was connected with the demand of the private person to refute the information published in the newspaper.

Editor Irina Prokopiuk told the Institute of mass information that the material had been published in the newspaper about the raid of representatives of the town executive committee for disclosure of illegal traders in the resort zone. The journalists represented two points of view: of representatives of the town executive committee and of an illegal trader. The latter turned to the newspaper with the demand to refute the information, given by the executive committee, that he, being an invalid, had to have the corresponding documents for trading.

Irina Prokopiuk told that several similar suits were brought against the newspaper during last time, and the newspaper won all these cases. The latest case has been considered mainly in the light of Article 34 of the Civil Code, which reads that a journalist, who obtains information from a state official at the time of fulfillment by the official of his service duty, has the right not to check this information, which is regarded as authentic.

The claimant demanded from the newspaper to recompense him the moral damage equal to 10 thousand hryvnas. By the words of the editor, it is rather great sum for the newspaper. Ms. Prokopiuk stated that lately judges had become very competent and careful in the cases concerning mass media. She added that she even had not resorted to advocate’s services.

1 April 2005

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