ENGLISH VERSION: Interlocution within the framework of the preparations for the examination of the claim from the representatives of ROAC against Vladimirskiye Vedomosi and Suzdalskaya Nov newspapers was held in Suzdal District Court
On April, 21 Judge Olga Kondratieva of Suzdal District Court conducted a preparatory meeting of the litigants in the case on the claim from the representatives of the clergy and the laity of the Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church (ROAC) against the editorial offices of Vladimirskiye Vedomosi and Suzdalskaya Nov newspapers, Portal-Credo.Ru reports. The meeting was attended by Metropolitan Theodore (Gineyevsky), First Hierarch of ROAC, who heads the group of claimants; Archimandrite Euphymios (Karakozov); Deacon Georgy Gordopolov and the parishioners of ROAC. Vladimirskiye Vedomosi was represented by Tatyana Siverskaya, legal counsel of the newspaper, and Suzdalskaya Nov was represented by Irina Belan, Editor-in Chief.
The reason for the claim filed almost one month ago was the publication of two identical articles both named "State Department in Cassock?" by the foregoing newspapers on October 22 and November 20, 2013 respectively. The article published in connection with the court sessions held in Suzdal District Court and Vladimir Regional Court concerning the "holy relics case" (the case on the confiscation of the relics of Saints Euphymios and Euphrosynia of Suzdal) contains dozens of offensive statements and wrongful accusations targeted at ROAC and its specific members. It mentions, inter alia, their cooperation with the US intelligence services and the US State Department which, according to the author of the article, finances ROAC, and accuses this Church of "schism", establishment of "false hierarchy", attempts to destabilize the situation in Suzdal and all over Russia. The article abounds with the Cold War cliches and its author makes no references to the sources of the "information" which offends the religious feelings of the faithful of ROAC and provokes inter-confessional antagonism.
On April 2 the statement of claim was received by Judge Olga Kondratieva.On April 4 it was accepted for proceedings and numbers 2-544/2014 and М-325/2014 were assigned to it. The claimants demand that all slanderous allegations directed against ROAC are retracted in the scope of the article itself and that the damage caused to their honor, dignity and reputation is compensated.
In the course of the interlocution it turned out that the article had been received by Vladimirskiye Vedomosi via e-mail from an unknown individual. Therefore, the editorial office of Vladimirskiye Vedomosi assumed its full responsibility for the contents of this article. Some procedural issues were discussed in the course of the interlocution, such as the more specific indication of the legal names of the respondents, the confirmation of the membership of the claimants in ROAC, submission of requisite documents etc.
The preliminary court hearing on this case was scheduled for May, 13.
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