EIT: Moskovan asianajajaliiton presidentin tuomitseminen kunnianloukkauksesta rikkoi EIS 10 artiklaa

4.4.2013 | Oikeusuutiset

Markku Fredman

Euroopan ihmisoikeustuomioistuin on Venäjää vastaan antamassaan tuomiossa katsonut, että Moskovan asianajajaliiton presidentti Genri Reznikin tuomitseminen kunnianloukkauksesta sen johdosta, että hän oli esittänyt televisiohaastattelussa kriittisiä kannanottoja Mikhail Khodorkovskyn asianajajan kohtelusta, loukkasi hänen sananvapauttaan.

EIT:n lehdistötiedotteesta:

The Court was not convinced by the Russian Government’s argument that, being a lawyer, Mr Reznik should have shown particular meticulousness in his choice of words. In its case-law, the Court had repeatedly emphasised that lawyers had the right to comment in public on the administration of justice, provided that their criticism did not overstep certain bounds. Mr Reznik had spoken to a lay audience of television viewers, not to legal experts. The word “search”, with which the Moscow City Court had found fault – holding that the prison officers had carried out an “inspection” with Ms A. rather than having searched her – was, in everyday language, an appropriate description of the procedure to which Ms A. had been subjected. Moreover, the format of the TV discussion between Mr Reznik and the Ministry representative had been designed to encourage an exchange of views or even an argument, so that the opinions expressed would counterbalance each other. As the discussion had been broadcast live, Mr Reznik had had no possibility to reformulate his words before they were made public. Furthermore, the other participant in the debate, the representative of the Ministry of Justice, had been given the floor after Mr Reznik and thus could have dispelled any allegation which he considered to be untrue and could have presented his own version of the incident.

The Court did not consider it decisive that Mr Reznik had described the procedure as a “search” and not as an “inspection”. The thrust of his critical statement had been directed at the male warders who had examined the female lawyer’s clothing. That conduct had constituted a departure from the requirements of Russian law, which explicitly provided that both a personal inspection and a body search should be carried out by persons of the same sex as the person being searched. The Court therefore considered that Mr Reznik had not gone beyond the limits of acceptable criticism. His statement had rested on a sufficient factual basis and the Moscow City Court had not based its decision on an acceptable assessment of the relevant facts.

Although Mr Reznik had had to pay only a negligible amount of money in compensation, the institution of defamation proceedings against him had been capable of having a deterrent effect on his freedom of expression.

The Court therefore concluded that there had been a violation of Article 10.

Lehdistötiedote kokonaisuudessaan, missä myös linkki koko tuomioon, löytyy täältä: Judgment Reznik v. Russia

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