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Strasbourg court rejects Stalin grandson’s defamation lawsuit against paper

January 15, 2015, 16:29 UTC+3 STRASBOURG
Yevgeny Dzhugashvili filed a claim condemning articles about the shooting of Polish prisoners of war in Katyn in 1940 and the role that Stalin allegedly played in the tragedy
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Yevgeny Dzhugashvili

Yevgeny Dzhugashvili

© Georgian independent photo agency/David Khizanishvili

STRASBOURG, January 15. /TASS/. The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has rejected a lawsuit filed by the grandson of Joseph Stalin claiming a Russian newspaper had defamed the Soviet leader in 2009.

“In its decision in the case of Dzhugashvili v. Russia (application no. 41123/10) the European Court of Human Rights has unanimously declared the application inadmissible. The decision is final,” the court said on Thursday.

Yevgeny Dzhugashvili filed a claim on June 4, 2010, condemning the articles published by the Novaya Gazeta newspaper about the shooting of Polish prisoners of war in Katyn in 1940 and the role that Stalin had allegedly played in the tragedy.

Dzhugashvili, a Russian national who was born in 1936 and lives in Moscow, filed a defamation suit against the newspaper and the author of the article for damages totaling 9.5 million rubles (211.488 euros at that currency rate) in a Russian court, which ruled against him.

The European court held that the articles “concerned an event of significant historical importance and that both the event and historical figures involved, such as the applicant’s grandfather, inevitably remain open to public scrutiny and criticism.”

The court also found that “the Russian courts, taking into account the European Court’s case law, had carefully balanced the competing interests of journalistic expression and the applicant’s right to respect for his private life and that of his grandfather.”.

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