Court throws out civil suit by traffic officer against Dorozhny Kontrol website
On 29 February the Desnyansky District Court in Kyiv issued a ruling to reject the civil suit lodged by “Cobra Traffic Police Inspector, Hennady Hetmantsev against Rostyslav Shaposhnykov, head of the website Dorozhny Kontrol ()) which monitors the work of the traffic police and breaches of drivers’ rights.
Rostyslav Shaposhnykov explained that the court had decided not to examine the suit since the claimant had failed to appear twice. Termination of proceedings is standard in such cases.
The claimant had asserted that the site contained “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 doesn’t want to talk to Dorozhny Kontrol anymore” from 29 August 2011, as well as the commentaries under them.
As reported, on 10 February Judge Olha Salamon from the Desnyansky District Court in Kyiv issued a ruling temporarily closing the entire website over Hetmantsev’s defamation suit.
There was immediate outcry and serious alarm with the implications of such a move clear and highly disturbing. MP Volodymyr Pylypenko wrote to the Head of the High Council of Justice, Vadim Kolesnichenko from the Party of the Regions demanding that a check be made as to whether the judge who issued the ruling did not act in breach of oath. He suggested that the High Council should decide whether the measure taken was proportionate and whether the closure or blocking of websites fell within the jurisdiction of courts of that level.
There were also protests from Stop Censorship and others.
On 17 February the same judge revoked her previous ruling.
New information from