Local newspaper Uzhorak faces court proceedings in Horki
16:09, — Politics
On March 10, the court of the Horki district began to hear a civil case against the local independent newspaper Uzhorak.
Tamara Kautunova, the chairwoman of the Horki district organisation of the Belarusian Association of Disabled Persons, accuses the newspaper of “defamation” and seeks 50 million rubles. She found libel in the stories from the court hearings in late 2013 that were published by BelaPAN news agency and reprinted by Uzhorak. Kautunova accused four women with disabilities of defamation, but lost the case.
Halina Budnaya, the newspaper's editor-in-chief, and the private trade and industrial unitary company Uzhorak, which publishes the newspaper, are defendants in the case.
Aleh Aheyeu, a lawyer of the Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ), represents the newspaper's interests in court. According to him, it was decided at the trial that Halina Budnaya couldn't be a proper defendant. However, the number of defendants didn't change –- BelaPAN news agency should appear for the defence now.
The next hearing is scheduled for March 27.
In 2013, Tamara Kautunova sued four disabled women – Sofia Shatoba, Valiamtsina Tsishkovich, Sviatlana Mikheyenka and Kapitalina Zemliakova. Kautunova accused them of defamation. The defendants accused Kautunova of improper conduct and unfair distribution of humanitarian aid. A court in Horki found them guilty, but the Mahilou regional court heard their appeal and reversed the court ruling.