Journal TV case: CJI asks Parliament to take legislative measures; The head of the General Intelligence ordered the opening of an official investigation: “Abuse”
The Jurnal TV case, when the director of the television station, Val Butnaru, was fined and denied the right to run the Jurnal TV channel for six months based on Article 70 of the Criminal Code – slander, may set a dangerous precedent for press freedom, reports NGOs, as well as a lawyer Center for Independent Press, Christina Dornea, on the program “Media Izzy”.
The expert recalls that according to the provisions of the Freedom of Expression Law, the state guarantees freedom of expression for the media, and journalists benefit from a series of guarantees that guarantee protection from attempts to obstruct media activity.
People who consider themselves mutilated can use the means of defense stipulated in the Freedom of Expression Act, which requires ensuring the specific requirements of journalism in the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights. In a particular case, however, the provisions of Article 70 of the Criminal Code (Defamation), a fact that can also be described as a way to intimidate journalists.
In this context, the ICC is asking Parliament to exclude journalists from the category of those held accountable under Article 70 of the Penal Code called “defamation”. The media NGO sent a letter in this regard to the legislature, and more precisely to the Parliamentary Committee for the Media, warning against creating dangerous precedents.
During the presentation of “Media Azzi”, the head of the Inspectorate General of Police, Viorel Cernuchino, wanted to specify that it is not about “the media”, but about “people who occupy positions of responsibility”. However, the head of the IGP describes what happened as a violation and says he has launched an official investigation.
“However, I think what happened on July 26 is abuse (On that day, the Chisinau court, Buyukani’s residence, found the director of the Journal channel guilty of defamation and also on that day two other people, a former and current IGP employee, targeted in the Jurnal TV investigations, complained to the police following the same legal path, no ) I ordered an official investigation so that no one would think I was protecting the police. The police did not issue a decision.”Cernăuțeanu said.
When the director of the program was asked if the judges should send some signal through the decisions they make, to go down another path, which is related to the Freedom of Expression Act, the head of the IGP stated that he is a follower of freedom of expression.
“If the court overturns this process, the people who allowed themselves and made exemptions will be punished, and this fact will be found. I ordered the internal investigation because immediately after the first decision was issued on July 26, two more requests appeared. I do not want and do not have the right to interfere with the wrongful documentation process These, otherwise it would be considered interference, but I have been made aware of the statute of limitations for this procedure in violation of all points of view ”the head of the IGP also said.
“The court cannot suggest anything to anyone, it must apply the law. In the case of the director of Jurnal TV, in my view, it is important to follow how the situation develops after the legality check has already carried out the decision of the first instance. We still have the court of appeal and appeal “Christina Dornea reported.
We remind you that on July 26, 2022, following a complaint by a former employee of the Ministry of the Interior, Vitaly Grabovchi, the Chisinau court, Buyukani headquarters, issued the decision according to which the director of Giornale TV, Val Butnaro, fined him and deprived him of the right to hold positions of responsibility for a period of six months.
On the same day, only a few hours away, the Buyukani Police Inspectorate set a new record that the director of the Journal TV station had committed the crime of slander. And this time, the policeman who drew up the conclusion document asked the court to deprive Val Butnaro of the right to exercise his activity for a year because he had allowed the publication of “false and defamatory information”.
This file was provided at the request of Officer Ion Arne and former Police Officer Alexei Vizdan. Vitaly Grabovshi and Ion Arni, as well as Alexei Vizdan, were targeted in the journalistic materials broadcast by Journal TV. Previously, the editorial staff of the TV station noted that Ion Arni and Alexei Vizdan forcibly entered the headquarters of Journal-TV, assaulting journalists.
Media organizations mention that according to the provisions of the Freedom of Expression Law, the state guarantees freedom of expression for the media, and journalists benefit from a series of guarantees that guarantee increased protection from attempts to obstruct media activity. People who consider themselves famous can use the means of defense and restore the rights stipulated in the Law on Freedom of Expression, which presuppose the guarantee of the specific requirements of the press in the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights.
The media organizations demanded, through an announcement, the legal authorities that resolve cases related to the crime of defamation, to stop the arbitrary use of legal provisions as a weapon against freedom of expression for the media, and to refrain from misinterpreting these provisions. legislation in the future.
To underscore the increased danger of precedents set by the personnel of the Buyukani Police Inspectorate, as well as the serious effects on press freedom, the Center for Independent Press, API and other media organizations requested members of the Parliamentary Committee responsible for the media sphere to take the necessary steps in order to exclude journalists from the category of responsible subjects Under Article. 70 of the Penal Code.