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Moscow court to hear watchdog’s lawsuit demanding Telegram be blocked

April 12, 2018, 15:37 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Telegram earlier requested the court to delay the hearing

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© REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

MOSCOW, April 12. /TASS/. Moscow’s Tagansky District Court will begin hearing a lawsuit on the merits launched by Russia’s media watchdog demanding the Telegram messaging service be blocked, a TASS correspondent reported from the courtroom.

"The court will start considering the lawsuit on the merits on April 13," Judge Yulia Smolina said.

Telegram earlier requested the court to delay the hearing as the defense attorney for the case was away on a business trip. However, the court rejected the request.

Meanwhile, the watchdog requested that the court immediately block Telegram.

On Thursday, the Tagansky District Court is making pre-trial preparations for the media watchdog’s lawsuit against Telegram. The purpose is to determine the circumstances that are relevant for hearing the case.

Earlier, the watchdog set a 15-day deadline for the messaging service to provide decryption keys for messages to law enforcement agencies. The watchdog’s press service said in a statement that in case Telegram failed to do that, a lawsuit would be filed demanding that users’ access to Telegram be restricted in Russia.

The Tagansky District Court received the lawsuit on April 6.

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