Homel: Andrei Tolchyn vs. Homelskaia prauda Trial
A member of the United Civil Party filed with Homel Chyhunachny borough court a suit for protection of his honor and dignity. On 9 January judge Mikalai Krupadziorau started consideration of the case, the defendant on which was the regional state newspaper Homelskaia prauda that published false and insulting information about Mr. Tolchyn in its article A vy druzya kak ni sadites…(No matter in which order you would sit…), #167, 16 November 2006. In private, Tolchyn and his wife were called tramps there.
In the suit Andrei Tolchyn asked the court to exact from the author of the article 2 million rubles of compensation for the moral harm done to his family and oblige the newspaper to publish a refutation.
The sides agreed to the judge’s proposal for voluntary settlement of the conflict. According to it by the next court sitting appointed on 16 January A.Tolchyn is to prepare a refutation to be then published by the newspaper.
During the trial the editor of the newspaper’s department of public and political life and justice Alena Alenchanka stated she wasn’t ready to call the real name and surname of the author of the article (which was signed with the nick-name Piotr Kuzmin) and only said that he was a freelance journalist.
Andrei Tolchyn, in his turn, demanded that the author of the article be present at the next court sitting. This claim was upheld by the judge.
‘Nowadays the official media not only discredit democratic activists, but even insult them as persons and citizens. This can’t be left unpunished. I am not bloodthirsty, but am of opinion that in the case I am defamed the guilty persons must refute the libelous information,’ commented Mr. Tolchyn.