ON 17 JUNE THE SUPREME ECONOMIC COURT TURNED DOWN THE BDG PETITION (Charter’97)
The Supreme Economic Court of Belarus turned down the petition, put forth by the “Marat” company against the Information Ministry in connection with the unlawful reprimand, issued against the “BDG” newspaper for publishing an article under the heading “Patron’s image” on 18.04.2003.
In that publication, according to the Information Ministry, the newspaper disseminated data, defaming the honor and dignity of the Belarusian president. As you know, the article in question represented an excerpt from an interview of the Russian Beauty Queen Svetlana Karalova to the Russian newspaper “Megapolis-Express”, in which she tells about how she got acquainted with Alexander Lukashenka and the day, she spent in his presidential residence.
Apparently, the Ministry of information, which drafted the Law on press and other mass media outlets, somehow kept in oblivion the fact that that very law frees periodicals from responsibility in case they quote or make references to other medias. In this case it is “Megapolis-Express”, from which the data originally emanated, which bears all responsibility.
Nonetheless, the Supreme Economic Court considered the Information Ministry’s claims absolutely grounded, agreed that the newspaper indeed discredited honor and dignity of Alexander Lukashenka and ruled to turn down the plea.