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Presidential Office "surprised at some wordings" in court decision as to book on Vasyl Stus

20.10.2020, 17:20
Photo credit: volynnews.com
Photo credit: volynnews.com

The Presidential Office said to be surprised at some wordings in the decision of the Darnytsia District Court of Kyiv which banned distribution of Vakhtang Kipiani's book "The Case of Vasyl Stus" unless taking down information about the MP from the "Opposition Platform - For Life" Viktor Medvedchuk, as this was reported on the website of the President of Ukraine.

The Office of the head of state reported: We’ve taken note of the decision of the Darnytsia District Court of Kyiv regarding the book "The Case of Vasyl Stus". We also have taken note of the claim that the author of the book Vakhtang Kipiani and the representatives of the publishing house made about the intention to file an appeal against. This is at least sygnifying that society is willing to defend one’s rights. Absolutely, we are surprised by some of the wording in this decision. Although we do not question the independence of the judiciary, as this is said in the message.

The Office of the President found "strange" the court spoke of Viktor Medvedchuk as of a "character (actor) of the piece of artwork."

“Most of the content of the book is an exact reprint of the case files of the criminal proceedings. That is, the purely documentary basis of the book does not cause the slightest doubt. Thus, it is by this logic of the book that V. V. Medvedchuk is a participant in a real process that took place in history, and not just a "character of the work." The participant's behavior is analyzed solely on the basis of documented facts, which are not a product of the authors' literary work and literary fiction,” as the Office of the head of state noted.

At the same time, the Office of the President emphasized that censorship in Ukraine was directly and unambiguously prohibited by the Constitution, in any form.

As IMI reported, on October 19, historian and journalist Vakhtang Kipiani said he would appeal against the decision of the Darnytsia District Court of Kyiv to ban the distribution of his book “The Case of Vasyl Stus”.

On October 19, Vivat publishing house decided to appeal  against that decision of the Darnytsia District Court of Kyiv.

On October 19, the Darnytsya District Court ordered Vakhtang Kipiani, author of the book “The Case of Vasyl Stus”, and Vivat Publishing House to take down any saying about Viktor Medvedchuk, MP from the Opposition Platform for Life, and banned the distribution of printed copies until redressment of violations of Medvedchuk's non-property rights.

The court held “to compel Kipiani and Vivat publishing house to take down any saying about the person of Medvedchuk out of the book sections “ Criminal case №5. The Book of Life and Death of Vasyl Stus ”and “Did Medvedchuk Killed the Poet Vasyl Stus, Didn’t He?” The court prohibits Mr Kipiani and Vivat publishing house from distributing the printed copies of the book "The Case of Vasyl Stus" and from further printing until redressment of violation of the personal non-property right Medvedchuk," the judge announced.

Besides that, the court banned Kipiani and Vivat from using and disseminating any information from two above-mentioned sections and which "makes it possible to identify Viktor Medvedchuk as a person, actor without his consent"in mass media.

The court has partly upheld Medvedchuk's lawsuit against Kipiani and Vivat publishing.

The decision will take legal effect after the deadline for filing an appeal. Within 30 days, the decision can be appealed to the Kyiv Court of Appeal.

On October 19, the judge announced the operative part of the decision. The full text will be announced within 10 days.

Vakhtang Kipiani's book "The Case of Vasyl Stus" was published in May 2019.

As IMI reported, in the summer of 2019, Viktor Medvedchuk, an MP from the “Opposition Platform - For Life”, filed a lawsuit against journalist and historian Vakhtang Kipiani in the Darnytsia District Court of Kyiv, demanding to ban the distribution of his book “The Case of Vasyl Stus”. 

"The Case of Vasyl Stus" was published in 2019. The book contains several documents from the archives of the former KGB of the USSR about the resonant case of the poet, from eyewitness testimonies, letters from the writer from prison, memoirs of his family and friends.

Medvedchuk was Stus's lawyer when he was arrested for the second time in 1980.

On October 2, 2019, the Darnytskyi District Court of Kyiv began consideration of the case on Medvedchuk's claim.

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