Defence Minister backs off


Camaiaigning banner from the election campaiign

Pavlo Lebedev, appointed Defence Minister by President Yanukovych on 24 December, has withdrawn an extraordinary defamation suit and the court proceedings have therefore been terminated.

As reported, Lebedev had demanded 10 thousand USD from a journalist, and that the court restrict her movements and freeze her immoveable assets.  He claimed that an article published under the name of Sevastopol correspondent for the Russian information agency Novy Region, Yanina Vaskovskaya, had defamed him.  The material concerned the purchase by the Fund for the Socio-economic Development of Sevastopol which apparently belongs to Lebedev of an x-ray machine for Sevastopol Hospital No. 9.  The information was published with reference to the Fund’s press service.

Later Novy Region published material in which it accused Lebedev of claiming the credit for the x-ray machine which had in fact been bought from public funding on the basis of a tender in 2012.

It was only in January 2013 that the Director of the Fund, Anna Shcherbakov refuted the information reported that the Fund had said that it paid for the equipment on the eve of the parliamentary elections.

This was then followed by Lebedev’s defamation suit against Yanina Vaskovskaya.

Pavlo Lebedev balloted for the single-mandate electoral district No. 224 in Sevastopol representing the Party of the Regions 

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