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Against European Court Verdict Georgian Government shall Pay Journalist EUR 1,500

The European Court of Human Rights has today notified in writing its Chamber judgment in the case of Gorelishvili v. Georgia.
The Court held, unanimously, that there had been a violation of Article 10 (freedom of expression) of the European Convention on Human Rights and declared the remainder of the application inadmissible.
Ilnar Gorelishvili journalist of newspaper “Meridiani 44” (newspaper ceased functioning in 2001 – media.ge) has published article concerning financial statement of MP Givi Lominadze in issue dated back to July 3-5, 2000. The article regarding the property of Mr Lominadze had several comments of Ms Gorelishvili.

As a result, Mr Lominadze sued Ms Gorelishvili and the editor of the Meridiani 44 for defamation. Ultimately, on 12 September 2003, again relying on Article 18 of the Civil Code, the Supreme Court considered that the applicant’s criticism was unfounded and concluded that she had been negligent. The applicant and the editor were ordered to pay jointly GEL 100 (EUR 46) for moral damage and deny published facts.

Ilnar Gorelishvili lodged the application with the European Court of Human Rights on 10 March 2004 and claimed EUR 20,000 in respect of non-pecuniary damage and EUR 5,800 for the costs and expenses incurred before the Court.

The European Court of Human Rights concludes that the “interference was not necessary in a democratic society”. There has accordingly been a violation of Article 10 of the Convention.

The Court declared that the respondent State is to pay the applicant, within three months from the date on which the judgment becomes final in accordance with Article 44 § 2 of the Convention, EUR 1,500 (one thousand five hundred euros) in respect of non-pecuniary damage. The Government of Georgia can dispute the verdict within three months period.

Source: Media.ge

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