Court revokes massive compensation award against a newspaper and journalist
On 24 September the Kyiv Court of Appeal reversed the ruling of the Desnyansky District Court over the civil suit brought by Yury Sidorenko, Head of the Consulting Council of the consortium SSAPS [Single State Automated Passport System] against the company “Blitz-Inform” the editorial board of the newspaper “Business” and its journalist Maxim Birovash. It was the latters representative, Oleksandr Burmahin, in court who passed the information to “Telekritika”.
The court totally turned down the claimants demand for moral compensation to the sum of 22 million UAH from “Blitz-Inform”, and 5 thousand UAH from Mr Birovash and the former Editor of the newspaper. It did, however, uphold the part of the original ruling regarding retraction and prohibition on using the photography of the claimant. The court also ordered the claimant to pay 1 million 250 thousand UAH in connection with the appeal submitted by “Blitz-Inform”.
Oleksandr Burmahin said that they would await the motivation part of the ruling before deciding whether to submit a cassation appeal against the part of the ruling which was upheld. He stressed that the journalist and newspaper had acted conscientiously and had carried out a journalistic investigation on the basis of the documents.
As reported here, the Desnyansky District Court passed its ruling on 23 May 2008, after Mr Sidorenko filed his claim for 46 million UAH in November 2007, and also paid duty of 4.6 million UAH.
Maxim Birovash had published his journalists investigation into Ukraines passport system in “Business”.