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The Board on civil cases of the Supreme Court decreed to leave the decision of Almaty municipal court on the lawsuit of Rakhat Aliyev against Internews Kazakhstan without changes

The decision was announced during the session of the Board on civil cases of the Supreme Court on July 30 in Astana.

Let’s us remind you that on May 24, 2002 the municipal court of Almaty city (court of first instance) has rendered a decision on the lawsuit of Rakhat Aliyev against the representative office of international organization Internews Network in Kazakhstan on protection of honor and dignity.

Rakhat Aliyev, former deputy chairman of the Committee of National Security of the Republic of Kazakhstan, former deputy head of the security service of the President of the republic, former president of National Olympic Committee (NOC), today an ambassador of Kazakhstan in Austria, on December 5, 2001 submitted a lawsuit statement to Almalinsky district court of Almaty city on protection of honor and dignity and compensation of moral damage for the article “Khabarization of the entire country”, which was published on the web-site of Internews Kazakhstan in August-September 2001 (electronic newsletter Internews Network - Kazakhstan # 23 (117) of 20/08- 02/09 2001).

Mr. Aliyev considered the following to be non-corresponding to reality, discrediting his honor and dignity in public opinion: “D. Nazarbayeva and her husband - first deputy head of the Committee of National Security of the Republic of Kazakhstan Rakhat Aliyev, own or control (directly or indirectly) several television and radio networks, informally unified into a media holding (television channels Khabar, KTK, NTK, “ORT-Kazakhstan”, radio station “Yevropa plus Kazakhstan”, “Hit FM Khabar”, “Russkoye radio”, “Radio Retro-Karavan; newspapers “Novoye pokoleniye”, “Karavan”, “Karavan” publishing house, information agency “Kazakhstan today”, advertising agency “TV-Media and etc.).

Telecommunication company KATELKO is in the same row, “Kazakhstan’s broadcasting corporation. In winter of 2000 by the decree of the government two organizations, who controlled television and radio transmitting means (transmitters, television towers, television centers and etc.), were reorganized and rights of property and use over the state package of stocks of the newly-fledged organization were handed over to “KVK - Kazakhstan’s Broadcasting Corporation”, founder of which is a group of legal and physical entities. Experts ask themselves a question: who would benefit from privatization of state property?”.

We should note that an entire sentence was omitted in the beginning of the first paragraph of the lawsuit statement: “Mass media experts say that today all large mass media of Kazakhstan actually passed into the ownership of members of the family of the president of the country, or private individuals, close to presidential circles.”

The second paragraph was stated in the following way: “Telecommunication company KATELKO is in the same row, “Kazakhstan’s broadcasting corporation. In winter of 2000 by the decree of the government two organizations, who controlled television and radio transmitting means (transmitters, television towers, television centers and etc.), were reorganized and rights of property and use over the state package of stocks of the newly-fledged organization were handed over to “KVK - Kazakhstan’s Broadcasting Corporation”, founder of which is a group of legal and physical entities. Experts ask themselves a question: who would benefit from privatization of state property?” and in the context of the article did not directly correlate with the first paragraph.

In the course of the trial Internews presented at the disposal of the court numerous materials published on Internet from various information sources, where mass media experts, journalists wrote literally about what was written in the article “Khabarization of the entire country”.

However, the judges ignored the provided materials, having considered them “improper” and “false”. Moreover, representative of the defendant stated, referring to the law “On mass media”, that “web-cites, unregistered in the Republic of Kazakhstan» should be considered “improper” sources of information. Whereas, mass media experts state that there is no such regulation in the law “On mass media”.

The representative office of “Internews Network” in Kazakhstan believes that thus the court decision violates regulations of the law on mass media.

International observers (OSCE center in Almaty, USAID, International foundation for protection of freedom of speech “Adil soz”, independent experts and others) evaluated conduct of the trial as “biased”. Decision of the court was based on the results of the judicial psychological-philological examination, which was executed by the Central (Almaty) scientific-production laboratory of judicial examination. In opinion of “Internews Kazakhstan” and director of Kazakh International Bureau on human rights and the rule of law Yevgeniy Zhovtis (he was the advocate during this trial), results of this examination are an example of how the Center of judicial examinations is being used by judicial authorities to present false conclusions.

Conclusion of the independent examination, which was conducted by the Guild of linguistic experts on documentary and informational disputes (Moscow, Russia) - the publication does not contain offensive vocabulary, statements, containing negative evaluation of personality of R. Aliyev. Almaty municipal court did not take into consideration arguments of the defendant and decreed to refute data published in the newsletter.

“Internews-Kazakhstan” did not agree with this decision and on June 6 sent an appellate appeal to the Board on civil cases of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

In the appellate appeal “Internews-Kazakhstan” asked the Board to cancel the decision of Almaty municipal court and refuse to satisfy the lawsuit of Aliyev R. M. against the representative office of “Internews Network” in Kazakhstan and the chief editor of the newsletter.

The Board on civil cases of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Kazakhstan decreed to leave the decision of Almaty municipal court without changes and the appellate appeal - without satisfaction.

We should say that we did not doubt that such court would render this particular decision.

Internews Kazakhstan will publish the text of refutation, composed by the party of Raklhat Aliyev, right after it receives the text of the official decision of the Board of the Supreme Court by mail.

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