Semen Semenchenko successfully fighting media libel in courts

For almost three years now, MP Semen Semenchenko of the Samopomich parliamentary faction has been fighting the dissemination of lies against him in courts. It all began in 2014.

“Once we started openly stating that the leadership of the Armed Forces must be held responsible for the entrapments, that corruption in the military sphere must be stopped, and that the Minsk Agreements enable terrorist enclaves in the legal field of Ukraine, while their leaders are later turned into local deputies and MPs, a slander campaign against the volunteer battalions and me personally was launched,” says Semen Semenchenko.

He continues, “Some news media, in particular, online media “Obozrevatel” and “Rakurs”, spread information that I was allegedly previously convicted, that I was a fraud, a person who committed various crimes.”

Finally, in 2015 the people’s deputy appealed to the court seeking refutation of the false information. On June 30, 2016, Kyiv-Svyatoshynsk district court fully upheld the plaintiff’s claim. However, on November 8, 2016, the Kyiv Regional Court of Appeal overturned the decision and partially satisfied the plaintiff’s demands. Semen Semenchenko notes, “The Presidential Administration has influenced individual judges in the Court of Appeal”.

Thus, in November 2016, he filed a cassation appeal with the Supreme Specialized Court of Ukraine for the review of civil and criminal cases, in which he asked to revoke the decision of the Court of Appeal and to uphold the decision of the court of the first instance.

In March 2018, the case was referred to the Supreme Court. The lawyer of the people’s deputy Roman Tytykalo says, “We have won in an interesting and topical case on the protection of honor and dignity in the Supreme Court. The court of the first instance fully upheld the claim, and the Court of Appeal of the Kyiv region partially canceled the decision, indicating that some of the information was a value judgment, but it did not substantiate why it thinks so. The Supreme Court noted, “At the same time, the Court of Appeal did not appraise each of the statements that the claimant sought to disprove.”

“It has all lasted for almost three years!” concludes Semen Semenchenko. “I’m glad that at least some levers of independent justice have been preserved.”


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