Court orders to remove from book about Vasyl Stus mention that Medvedchuk was his lawyer
The Darnytskyi District Court of Kyiv has compelled author of the book “The Case of Vasyl Stus” Vakhtang Kipiani and the Vivat publishing house to remove information about chairman of the political council of the OPFL party Viktor Medvedchuk, who was the poet’s lawyer, from the work. This was stated by judge Maryna Zastavenko at the court session on October 19, – Ukrayinska Pravda reports.
“To partially uphold the civil case concerning the appeal of Medvedchuk against Kipiani and OOO Vivat, to recognize the information disseminated in the book “The Case of Vasyl Stus” as unreliable and such that violates Medvedchuk’s personal non-property rights to respect for honor and dignity, as well as the inviolability of his business reputation. To oblige OOO Vivat to remove information about Viktor Medvedchuk’s personality from the book “The Case of Vasyl Stus”. To prohibit Kipiani and OOO Vivat from distributing the printed edition of the book “The Case of Vasyl Stus” until the violation of Medvedchuk’s personal non-property rights is eliminated”, – the judge read.
In particular, the court found several phrases from the book unreliable and violating Medvedchuk’s personal non-property rights:
- on page 661 – “the fact is that the lawyer provided and supported by the state security was named Viktor Medvedchuk”,
- on page 664 – “Medvedchuk admitted before the court that all the crimes allegedly committed by his client deserve punishment”,
- on page 664 – “he actually pressed the charges. What prosecutors are needed for when there are such reliable lawyers?”
- on page 7 – “the poet was tormented by the state-appointed lawyer Medvedchuk”,
- on page 663 – “the purge of the communist system, attorney Medvedchuk”,
- on page 664 – “lawyer Medvedchuk committed another crime against the poet by not informing his family about the beginning of the case consideration”.
The court also banned the dissemination of information related to the book in the media, on radio, television and on the Internet, as well as the use of information contained in specific sections of the book and allowing Viktor Medvedchuk to be identified as a character in the work.
The rest of Medvedchuk’s lawsuit against Kipiani and OOO Vivat was rejected by the court. The court also refused to satisfy the claims against the Unisoft private company.
The judge ruled to collect from Kipiani and OOO Vivat a court fee of 768.4 hryvnia ($27) each in favor of Medvedchuk.
The parties can appeal the decision within 30 days.
As previously reported, in 2019, Medvedchuk had filed a lawsuit against journalist Vakhtang Kipiani and the Vivat publishing house for the protection of honor, dignity and business reputation for the book “The Case of Vasyl Stus”. Vasyl Stus, a Ukrainian poet of the sixties, died in a Soviet camp on the night of September 4, 1985. Viktor Medvedchuk was appointed attorney for Vasyl Stus at the 1980 legal trial. Stus himself protested against this appointment, but was unable to obtain a replacement for the defender. The lawyer stated in a speech before the court that all the crimes of the defendant deserve punishment.