Publisher of Volny Horad newspaper files appeal to Mahiliou Regional Court
Uladzimir Kudrautsau, publisher of the Krychau-based independent newspaper Volny Horad, filed yesterday an appeal with the Mahiliou Regional Court against the decision of the Krychau District Court of December 8.
Mr. Kudrautsau asks the court to reverse the ruling, to terminate the proceedings, to recover from Maryna Maksimava, head of the ideology department of the Krychau district executive committee, the state fee of 225 thousand rubles paid by him, and also to issue a warning against Judge Alena Azaranka of the District Court for the lack of professionalism.
Uladzimir Kudrautsau believes that the court committed certain violations, including a failure to take into account the motions entered by Volny Horad journalists. The publisher hopes that all these circumstances will be considered by the judicial board on civil cases of the Mahiliou Regional Court, and the decision will be canceled.
On December 8, Judge Alena Azaranka of the Krychau District Court issued a decision to recover from the journalists, publisher and editor-in-chief 7 mln rubles in moral damages for Maryna Maksimova, as well as to pay court and counsel fees of 450,000 and 3.6 million rubles, respectively.
The lawsuit stemmed from a publication posted on September 14, 2014 on Volny Horad’s website. The article was entitled “Not at One’s Place?” and suggested that the head of the ideology department knows as much in “ideological work as the famous animal in honey”. A similar article was also posted in the printed issue of the newspaper. The article authored by Mikalai Herdziy told about silencing of information about the consequences of the collapse of a roof in one of the city’s schools, as well as the problem of informing the public about government measures to address these problems. He wrote that the cause of the collapse and the problems of the educational process concerned the majority of the population of Krychau district, but local authorities somehow ignored the subject.