Russia may lose another independent media. The magazine the New Times faces a huge fine, which means ruin and closure.
Chief editor of “echo of Moscow” Alexei Venediktov said in his Telegram canal that the world court has fined the magazine The New Times on 22 million roubles for “untimely submission of information to Roskomnadzor”. His opinion about the situation of “Rosbalt” was shared by The New Times lawyer Vadim Prokhorov.
— Vadim, for what the penalty is?
— A couple of years ago to the law on the media introduced the rule that the media should be held accountable for the so-called foreign sources of financing, which means not only foreign companies but also registered as a foreign agent. In particular, registered as foreign agents has been recognized with several funds of Dmitry Zimin, who is a Russian businessman. It really was related to the financing of the magazine at the time.
However, article 19.2 of the law on the media introduced offset her article 13.15.1 of the administrative code of the astronomical fine. If the editors are not informed or late informed of the availability of such sources, which is the same from the point of view of the law, she must pay a fine. In the case of The New Times is 22 million.
— Why this amount?
— Information on funding for the second and third quarter of 2018 we have listed. We are charged with failure to provide information for the period from the second quarter 2017 to first quarter 2018. In fact, it’s the year of operation of the magazine, why such a sum had accumulated. I want to emphasize that the prosecution is due to the fact that at least one ruble was saved or something stolen. Just being informed.
Check the Prosecutor’s office launched the inquiry of the Deputy from “Fair Russia” Rijeka, a veteran of the FSB, addressed by a citizen. The audit made a decision to initiate administrative proceedings. At the end of September 2018 this material is filed in the magistrate’s court No. 367. On 26 September the judge Shvedova made legitimate and justified the decision on the return of the materials, which relate mainly to 2017, the Prosecutor’s office because all the terms of it went.
The Supreme court says that the Statute of limitations is three months from the time when the publication was to provide information about funding. It is in the decree of Plenum of the Supreme court of 23 March 2005 on the application of Cao in a recent review of the practice in 2018. So, for the second quarter of 2017 information had to submit to 11 July 2017, for the third quarter — until October 10, 2017, for the fourth quarter — before 10 January 2018. These dates must be added the Statute of limitations for prosecution of three months. The latest alleged us act for the first quarter of this year — the timing of bringing to responsibility has expired on July 11. Last year they expired a long time ago.
The Prosecutor’s office the decision of the court appealed from, and the material lay in the Tver district court. But on 22 October, was broadcast Eugenia Albats with Alexei Navalny. It turned out quite a Frank conversation. And the very next day after the broadcast, in the evening, we suddenly start to search to inform the meeting of the appellate instance court. With law enforcement agencies, with local, telegrams — only Regardie was not. On 25 October, appointed consideration of the complaint of the Prosecutor.
On Thursday, that is yesterday, I went to the Tverskoy district court, on appeal — a judge Satoshi, which is known for the fact that in January 2011, made not quite a young Boris Nemtsov with a sore back for a few hours to stand during the hearing. This time Zatonsky very quickly returned the case to the world court.
Here the most interesting begins. The proceedings in the appellate court ended at 13:30 and 16:30 was appointed the new session of the world court on consideration of the case itself. I personally do not know of any case that in a single day is cranked in either Bulk or Nemtsov. I think even our Supreme court will pay attention to it.
Neither I nor Yevgeniya Albats not properly informed — we were not at the meeting. Today, about three o’clock in the afternoon I went to the world court to find out what’s going on. Learned that yesterday in our absence, a meeting with the participation of the assistant Prosecutor, on which the magazine was fined an astronomical sum — 22 million 250 thousand rubles. It is, in fact, means its forced closure.
— What are you going to do next?
We believe that in this situation there is a political component. I would like someone to bring at least one example of the practice, when, after the court of second instance the court of first instance has going to be the same day in three hours. I think that this was never in my life, no one, even our opposition.
Of course, we will file the appeal — again, in the Tver district court. Get it on a territorial principle, all to the same judge Satoshi. Her position is clear to me. Further — the Moscow city court and the Supreme court.
We have hope for the Supreme court, which explicitly States that this category of cases the time has long gone. And, of course, if we don’t find the truth — not quite sure this will appeal to the European court. I think he will give the proper legal assessment.
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