A Court Case "About Insult of His Majesty" Was Opened

Journalists of the telechannel "TV-6" in Vladimir can be brought to trial for a story about forum of Vladimir Putin's supporters. They are accused of the insult of the Russian president.


There was an item on air of the channel about forum of Vladimir Putin's supporters in Luzniki. It was accompanied by inscription "puting" and "young putinists". With the word "puting" journalists named "a meeting in Putin's support". The deputy of the State Duma, a member of "Edinaya Russia" Michael Babich directed complaint to the Office of Public Prosecutor, approving that there were  insults of the president in the words of the anchorman and in a video sequence.


Clause 319. Insult of the Representative of Authority


Public insult of the representative of authority at execution of the official duties by him or in connection with their execution - is punished by the penalty at the rate of up to forty thousand roubles or at the rate of wages or other income of the condemned for the period of about three months, or by obligatory works for the term of from one hundred twenty up to one hundred eighty hours, or corrective works for the term of from six months up to one year.


Material was sent for examination to Linguistic University in Nizhniy Novgorod where it was decided that it really could be considered as insult. After that investigatory management at regional Office of Public Prosecutor opened criminal case under the clause about the public insult of the representative of authority at execution of official duties.


- Actually, the case has boiled up long time ago, already last year, - editor-in-chief of FORUM.msk Anatoly Baranov commented on situation, - in the end of the last year I was phoned by the secretary of the regional committee of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation in Vladimir Magamet Ahmatov, who told me about situation and asked to help, if it's possible. The situation is such that without "TV-6" opposition in Vladimir will simply loose in general any information opportunities. It is quite probable, it's considered by the left in Vladimir, all this far-fetched business is conceived to silence rather independent telechannel. Likely, it's really so, though Vladimir branch of "Edinaya Russia" is headed by Andrey Isaev who is quite well knows a thing in information questions and, in general, is not afraid of open polemic. It's interesting just to ask: "Andrey, what is the reason you initiated all this dishonour?" Though, I hope at least, that it has simply passed by Isaev. At last putins come and go away while ones reputation remains.


"From the formal point of view the claim represents full delirium and can be accepted to consideration only by "basmanny" justice, - Anatoly Baranov considers, - there is no such word as "puting" in any dictionary of the Russian language, then what is the basis to consider it as insult? From the formal point of view it's simply a set of sounds which has no meaning. Then, if mister Putin nevertheless considers that the word "puting" offends him, it's he and nobody else can bring an action against insult of honour, dignity or business reputation. But misters from "Edinaya Russia" in Vladimir drew to the matter the clause about insult of the official "at execution". We perfectly understand what is meant in this clause - it is impossible to offend the militiaman on post duty or the employee of prefecture who writes out an official document to you. Obviously, it concerns also operating president - for example, during his public performance someone can shout something offensive and he, likely, is possible "to be made liable". But during his memorable performance in Luzhniki Putin for the first time of his presidency made public speech without the tie, more than that - in polo-neck, as if purposely demonstrating that he was there "inofficially" as a private person. The duties of the president of the Russian Federation do not assume performance in Luzniki before strange youth. In addition to it transmission was not a live one, that is at the moment of it nobody knows, what duties were carried out by Putin, may be none at all - nobody including employees of "TV-6" in Vladimir knew anything about it. That is at least they didn't have intention to offend the president "at execution". But misters from "Edinaya Russia" start interpreting the criminal legislation widely. Say, the president is for four years on his post, even when he is asleep or taking a shower and any disrespectful expression in his address by any citizen of the country could be transferred into criminal suit. It's a turning of simple and utilitarian law into the law about "Insult of His Majesty".