Navalny sues Russian media watchdog over blocking of Deripaska and Prikhodko investigation
He considers it illegal to block the investigation upon Deripaska and Prikhodko.
Politician Alexey Navalny pursues the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology, and Mass Media (Roskomnadzor), which demanded the removal of the investigation upon billionaire Oleg Deripaska and Head of the governmental apparatus Sergei Prikhodko from Navalny.com. The suit was filed with the Tagansky District Court of Moscow, Vedomosti got acquainted with the document. Navalny demands to recognize actions of Roskomnadzor as illegal and oblige to exclude his page from the register of prohibited information.
The lawsuit states that on February 10 Navalny received a notice from Roskomnadzor that two pages of his website entered the register of banned information by the decision of the Ust-Labinsky District Court of the Krasnodar Territory issued on February 9. The lawsuit provides information from Navalny's investigation, in particular, that allegedly Prikhodko rested on a yacht owned by Yacht-Club Center LLC. The ultimate beneficiary of this company is mother of Oleg Deripaska Valentina Petrovna Deripaska. "Royalty-free use of a water vessel owned by a legal entity is the consideration in kind and prohibited by legislation if a member of the Russian government receives it inasmuch as it is a bribe," the suit states.
The Convention on Human Rights states that freedom of expression may be limited, in particular, to protect the reputation or rights of others or to prevent the disclosure of information received in confidence. However, there is no such information in this investigation. The investigation was conducted on the basis of open sources - the book of Nastya Rybka "Diary of Seducing a Billionaire, or Clone for the Oligarch", photos from Instagram and other public information, is indicated in the lawsuit.
According to the decision of the Supreme Court, information can be disseminated without the consent of the citizen in the presence of public interest. That is, a citizen is a public figure, and the disclosure of information is socially significant. "The investigation was aimed at revealing the facts of corruption by the official of the Government of the Russian Federation," the suit states. The topic is of public interest, Navalny points out. This is confirmed by the number of publications in the media and the number of page views on Youtube (3.8 million times at the time of filing a lawsuit). The investigation "contributes to political discussions, is aimed at the protection of the rule of law," the plaintiff believes. "This fact is also confirmed by the Anti-Corruption Foundation appeal to law enforcement agencies."
The Navalny's lawsuit also states that according to the law on information, the grounds for inclusion in the register can be the decisions of the federal authorities (regarding information on methods of suicide, drugs sale, child pornography, etc.) and the final decision of the court. Pages on Navalny.com do not contain such information, and there is no legal decision that came into force. The blocking of pages on the website of Navalny and in other media has become an injunctive relief for Deripaska's suit against model Anastasia Vashakevich (Nastya Rybka) and her sex trainer Alexander Kirillov (Alex Lesley). The corresponding definition was made on February 9 by the Ust-Labinsky District Court. Deripaska's representative told Vedomosti that the case was being considered in private session, as the lawsuit concerned protection of the plaintiff's private life. Also Navalny refers to the appellate ruling of the Moscow Regional Court dated April 21, 2014. The court states, in particular, that Internet sites, containing untrue information defaming citizens or organizations, do not refer to those materials or information that can be included in the register of prohibited materials, and Roskomnadzor is not empowered to make decisions with respect to such information.
Mediazona, Radio Liberty, Znak.com, The Village, Snob, Newsru.com and even Maxim magazine receiveв order to remove the publication. Roskomnadzor also included 14 posts on Instagram and 7 videos on YouTube in the register of banned information, they should be removed until the evening of February 14. As not all providers have the technical ability to block individual Internet pages, some users of Runet could loose access to Instagram and YouTube. On Monday, producer of the Navany.Live channel Oksana Baulina reported that the administration of YouTube and Google Russia sent them a demand to remove the plot from February 8, 2017, which heroes were businessman Oleg Deripaska and Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Prikhodko.
Initially, the defendants in the case had been charged with embezzlement through swindling in the amount of 225 million rubles ($3.3 million). In the final version of the indictment, the article was changed to 1.5-billion-ruble ($22.45 million) embezzlement.