1 September 2011
Journalists Oleg Kashin and Aleksandr Morozov
in the Khamovniki district court of Moscow. © Photo ОIA
The verdict of the Khamovniki district court in Moscow in the lawsuit brought by the head of the Federal Agency for Youth Affairs Vasily Yakemenko against journalists Oleg Kashin, Aleksandr Morozov and the newspaper Novye Izvestia has entered into force.
On 1 September in the presence of Damir Gainutdinov, lawyer and legal analyst with the Agora Human Rights Association which has represented Kashin and Morozov, the court made an official record this fact
On 21 June 2011 the Khamovniki district court in Moscow had dismissed Vasily Yakemenko's request that a refutation be published of statements Kashin had made, in his LiveJournal correspondence with Aleksandr Morozov, to the effect that he had no doubts about a “Yakemenko version” of the assault against his person. The court also dismissed the government official's demand for 1.5 million roubles in compensation from Kashin, Morozov and Novye izvestia, which had quoted their correspondence, an Open Information Agency correspondent reports. As the press secretary of the Nashi movement, Kristina Potupchik, had promised in her blog, the head of the Federal Agency for Youth Affairs then lodged an appeal against the court's verdict on 22 June. However, by 29 July the court had not yet dealt with Yakemenko's appeal, as it apparently contained some technical flaws. Since the head of the Federal Agency for Youth Affairs failed to provide the court with the necessary corrections, the verdict has entered into force.
“The court has concluded that the hearing failed to find confirmation of any facts that would substantiate the basis of the lawsuit, and therefore had to dismiss the case,” the Khamovniki district court verdict stated, citing a Ruling of the Supreme Court Plenum, the Constitution of the Russian Federation, the European Court of Human Rights, and the Declaration on Freedom of Political Debate in the Media adopted by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe. The statement continued: “The court hearing failed to establish that the defendants had disseminated information about the claimant that does not correspond to the facts and is of a slanderous nature, and the defendants are therefore not liable for financial compensation for moral damage… The arguments of the claimant’s legal counsel that the disputed statements by the defendants A.O. Morozov and O.V. Kashin are 'covert claims' are based exclusively on the claimant’s subjective perception of the disputed statements, and are not corroborated by evidence presented to the court."
A photocopy of the court decision in the lawsuit of Vasily Yakemenko, Head of the Federal Agency for Youth Affairs, against the journalists Oleg Kashin and Aleksandr Morozov and the Novye izvestia newspaper can be viewed on website of the Open Information Agency here.