Russian court rejects Stalin grandson`s libel suit
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Last Updated: Friday, April 15, 2011, 16:50
Moscow: A Russian court has reportedly rejected a USD 388,000 libel suit filed by the grandson of Joseph Stalin against a radio station which said the former dictator had "strangled small children."

Stalin's grandson Yevgeny Dzhugashvili demanded 11 million roubles in compensation for the comment made by journalist Nikolai Svanidze on a show aired last year on liberal Ekho Moskvy (Moscow Echo) radio station.

The journalist on May 21, 2010, show said Stalin "strangled small children," but later pointed out he was speaking metaphorically.

"The court rejected our lawsuit, though we expected a surefire win," Dzhugashvili's lawyer Leonid Zhura was quoted as saying by RIA Novosti today.

Svanidze in his defence said he was referring to an order signed by Stalin in which he allowed the shooting of children, over 12 years, who were accused of being "enemies of the people."

Rejecting the suit, the judge ruled journalists should have the right to express their opinion freely, without fear of being drawn to court.

This was not the first lawsuit filed by Dzhugashvili against Ekho Moskvy and other Russian media outlets. In December 2009, he filed similar cases against the radio station after one of its journalists said no "b*****d" would dare justify Stalin for sanctioning the killing of children.

Dzhugashvili had also lost previous cases against Ekho Moskvy and the liberal Novaya Gazeta newspaper.


First Published: Friday, April 15, 2011, 16:50

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