Presidium of the Supreme Court of Russia quashed a sentence of the journalist from Novocherkassk, Rostov Region, Elena Nadtoka, who was convicted of insulting an official 12 years ago. The reason for the review of the case was the decision of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on the complaint of the journalist in 2016.
By decision of the Supreme Court, the case is sent for review to the court of first instance in the Rostov region.
'We believe that the only correct disposal of the case after the European Court's recognition of a violation of the Convention on Human Rights will be the adoption of legal measures allowing Elena Nadtoka to find herself in a situation in which she was before conviction,' Galina Arapova, director of the Media Rights Protection Center said. 'Therefore, the lawyer Tumas Misakyan applied to the Supreme Court with a request for the verdict cancellation despite the fact that the journalist's conviction has already been repaid, and the European Court has satisfied her complaint. This unjust judicial sentence should be completely excluded from the biography of Elena. This is the first time that the Supreme Court cancels the verdict to a journalist after the ECHR's recognition of a violation of the right to freedom of expression. It is significant that the cancellation of the verdict was also requested by the prosecution in the Supreme Court, which was represented by one of the deputies of the Prosecutor General of Russia.'
Elena Nadtoka became an actor in a criminal case in 2004 after a publication criticizing work of the head of the city Anatoly Volkov. The journalist of the newspaper used the expression 'a thievish Altai muzhik' in her article, describing the mayor of the city when discussing the power abuse. The mayor of Novocherkassk applied to the world court for the article 'Insult' (at that time the criminal responsibility for the insult was not yet excluded from the Criminal Code). Elena Nadtoka was an acting editor, so she was accused as an accomplice.
Despite the fact that linguistic examination did not reveal offensive language, the court fined her 50 thousand rubles. The journalist appealed to the ECHR in 2005.
In the European Court she was represented by Galina Arapova, the leading lawyer of the Media Rights Protection Center. On May 31, 2016, the ECHR found a violation of Article 10 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights ('Freedom of Expression') in the case of Nadtoka vs. Russia. The journalist was awarded compensation of moral damage of 4 thousand euros. On January 31, 2017, an expert of the Center for the Protection of Mass Media Rights, lawyer Tumas Misakyan filed a petition to the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation to annul the verdict.
Daniil Kuznetsov, «7x7»