Governor of the Moscow Region Boris Gromov motioned a libel
suit against YABLOKO’s 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
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 Mitrokhin’s speech published at YABLOKO’s
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 Mitrokhin’s words were libel
and said that Mitrokhin’s 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 Governor’s demand, YABLOKO’s official web-site has to
publish a refutation.
YABLOKO’s 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
Beketov’s security I even had to help in his urgent transfer
from the Khimki hospital to a Moscow hospital. All Beketov’s
relatives stated that he would not be allowed to survive in
Khimki,” Mitrokhin stated.
An investigation of the Beketov case has not yielded any