Court cancels order closing Dorozhny Kontrol website
The Desnyansky District Court in Kyiv has cancelled its order from 10 February temporarily closing the website of Dorozhny Kontrol ()) which monitors the work of the traffic police and breaches of drivers’ rights. The decision was taken by the same judge, Olha Salamon on 16 February.
The Judge explained her new decision as being that the closure of the site had impact on the interests of other Internet users. She thus allowed the application put by Pavlo Osadchy, representing the website’s owner, Rostyslav Shaposhnykov
Dorozhny Kontrol’s Chief Editor says that the site should be back and running tomorrow, 17 February.
The ruling was taken in connection with a civil suit by H. Hetmantsev, Inspector of the Cobra Traffic Police against the owner of Roadcontrol, N. Shaposhnykov. The claimant asserts that the site contains “untruthful information defaming his honour and business reputation”.
This was apparently often two pieces of video material entitled: “Cobra Traffic Police prohibited Dorozhny Kontrol from going to the toilet” from 1 August 2011 and “Cobra Traffic Police Inspector, Hetmantsev doesn’t want to talk to Dorozhny Kontrol anymore” from 29 August 2011, as well as the commentaries under them.
The relief is enormous, since most journalists and media specialists were clear that such a precedent could lead to any number of sites being closed down, instead of simply blocking access to the material alleged to be defamatory.