Russian court rejects Stalin grandson`s libel suit

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.

PTI



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

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