Solovki officials suing local blogger for publishing footage about their raiding plans 

Solovki officials suing local blogger for publishing footage about their raiding plans
Screenshot from the video

Civil servants believe that the activist violated their privacy and claim that the plans to capture Solovki docks is merely a dream of ordinary citizens rather than officials.

In Arkhangelsk, two state officials are trying to sue a local blogger, who previously posted a footage from a hidden camera in which these officials are "solving matters" related to the tourist industry on the Solovetsky Islands. According to the plaintiffs, the well-known Solovki guide and blogger Oleg Kodola committed an offense under Part. 1, Art. 137 of the Criminal Code (Violation of Privacy).

The video itself was recorded in the summer of 2015, in a bath at a hotel. The host of the bath Popruzhuk decided to install a hidden camera "for security reasons," Novaya Gazeta reported. The video features two people sitting at the table in towels and with beer, Mikhail Magid (Director of Solovki Multipurpose Center responsible for municipal land) and Yevgeny Tyutyukov (at that time, the deputy head of the Regional Agency for the Development of the archipelago, and currently Solovki Mayor). They are discussing how they should not let "unwelcome public" to Solovki docks.

The officials are talking about their "raiding" plans regarding Solovki tourist industry, expressing the intention to influence the Karelian Kem, where most tourists come from by ferry.

"I have two or three businesses with Drobyshev [local entrepreneur]. To mess with me is to mess with him," Magid says on video. "Now we are taking Kheta. I offered Shkolnaya guba, and he agreed to take it. If we take Tamarin prichal, I do not need to look for anyone. I put him there too. And then we have all three berths: — Kheta, Tamarin, and Monastyrsky."

In addition, the parties often refer to the abbot of the Solovetsky Monastery, Father Porfiry (he is also the director of Historical and Architectural Open-Air Museum) and "Roman Viktorovich" — the former vice-governor of the Arkhangelsk region, and at the time of shooting, the head of the agency for the development of Solovki, Roman Balashov.

When Kodola obtained the video, at first he decided not to publish it. However, when the access to the Kheta prichal was actually limited, blocked by a fence, he changed his mind.

In addition, he appealed to the prosecutor's office, and the supervisory authority demanded from the Solovki administration to remove the fence and ensure disciplinary accountability for Magid. Nevertheless, the prosecutors found nothing suspicious in the footage itself. Magid and Tyutyukov filed a complaint against Oleg Kodolov, since in the video they "were shown in the bath in a partially nude state, with alcoholic beverages and while using profanity in the course of conversation, which constitutes their personal privacy." In addition, this video may discredit them in the eyes of the public. Officials also insist that they have no power to exert such an influence, and all these bath talks can not be considered enforceable.

The plaintiffs were not present at the first court meeting held on January 12. The next one is scheduled for January 24.

Video: bath talks of Solovki officials

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