- Judgment date: 2011-01-20
- Communication date: 2019-02-06
- Application number(s): 25657/15
- Country: RUS
- Relevant ECHR article(s): 10, 10-1, 10-2
No violation of Art. 6-1
No violation of Art. 6-2
- Result: No violation SEE FINAL JUDGMENT
- Probability: 0.728596
- Prediction: Violation
Communication text used for prediction
The application concerns defamation proceedings brought by Mr Sechin, the head of the Rosneft oil corporation, against the applicants.
The applicant company is the founder of Vedomosti, a reputable business newspaper; the second applicant is a Vedomosti journalist.
Between September 2012 and June 2014 a number of articles appeared in various Russian media covering a so-called “taxation manoeuvre” (a series of changes in taxation of the oil and gas industry proposed by the Government to levy more taxes); it transpired from those publications that Mr Sechin was in conflict with Mr Medvedev’s Government over the imposition of higher taxes on Rosneft.
On 16 June 2014 an article entitled “Igor Sechin, the Man of the Week” written by the second applicant was published in both print and online editions of the Vedomosti.
The article criticised Mr Sechin’s role in blocking adoption of the taxation manoeuvre and noted that Mr Sechin was in a privileged position as he could influence decisions in the area of public governance despite not being part of civil service and thus lacking any accountability.
Mr Sechin argued before the domestic courts that certain statements in the article tarnished his reputation.
The applicants submitted that the impugned statements were value judgments of the second applicant and that they had been based on the information obtained from public sources, including numerous publications on the taxation manoeuvre.
They also argued that Mr Sechin was a public figure and that the article concerned matters of public interest.
The domestic courts in two instances found for the claimant for the reason that the defendants had not proven veracity of the impugned statements and ordered the applicants to publish a refutation in the newspaper’s print edition and to remove the article entirely from its website.
Shortly after that the applicants published refutations in both print and online editions of Vedomosti and removed the article from the newspaper’s website.