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Governor Gromov motions a libel suit against Sergei Mitrokhin

Press Release
February 1, 2010

Governor of the Moscow Region Boris Gromov motioned a libel suit against YABLOKOs leader Sergei Mitrokhin who had laid blame for a physical attack on Editor-in-Chief of Khimskinskaya Pravda oppositional paper Mikhail Beketov. The official claims compensation of RUR 500,000 (about USD 16,600) for the moral damage.

Sergei Mitrokhin stated that the party had grounds to think that Administration of the Khimki city district and personally Head of Administration Strelchenko supported by Governor Gromov are behind this crime during an action held on November 16, 2009 one year after the attack. A video record of Sergei Mitrokhins speech published at YABLOKOs web-site was used by the Governor as an evidence of libel.

On November 13, 2008, Editor-in-Chief of Khimskinskaya Pravda oppositional paper Mikhail Beketov who had been opposing the construction of a paid highway Moscow St.Petersburg, was found unconscious in the yard of his house. Doctors stated a severe head injury, multiple factions and injuries. Despite treatment Beketov remains a handicapped he can not take care of himself and his speech functions have not restored. The action in support of Beketov was held under the slogans Attack on Beketov Is an Attack on the Freedom of Speech and Attack on Beketov Is Political Terror.

Governor Gromov stated that Mitrokhins words were libel and said that Mitrokhins words damaged his reputation. He asked the court to lay the moral damaged accessed by him at RUR 500,000 at Sergei Mitrokhin. In case the court satisfies the Governors demand, YABLOKOs official web-site has to publish a refutation.

YABLOKOs leader in his turn is ready to prove to the court that his statement was justified. The Administration of the Khimki district launched a real mobbing campaign [against Beketov] at complete forbearance of Governor Gromov. To ensure Beketovs security I even had to help in his urgent transfer from the Khimki hospital to a Moscow hospital. All Beketovs relatives stated that he would not be allowed to survive in Khimki, Mitrokhin stated.

An investigation of the Beketov case has not yielded any result yet.


See also:

Freedom of Speech

Human Rights

Press Release
February 1, 2010