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Judge in Karelia reprimanded for hampering journalist’s work
The Qualifying Collegium of Karelia’s Supreme Court has sanctioned a judge for interfering with a reporter’s work. Last March, Judge E. Stepanova broke the law by ousting a journalist from the courtroom for using a tape recorder, and by requiring him to erase the recording.
After the incident was investigated, the head of Karelia’s Journalists’ Union received an official reply which we are publishing here in the hope that not only fellow journalists but also judges will read it:
Your April 5th complaint to the Supreme Court of Karelia about [the allegedly wrongful actions] of Judge E. I. Stepanova of the City Court of Petrozavodsk while considering a civil claim lodged by S. S. Mikhailov against the republican newspapers Moskovsky Komsomolets v Karelii and Karelskaya Guberniya in defense of his honor and dignity has been considered.
“Dear Mr. Tsygankov,
The facts cited in the complaint were checked, resulting in Judge Stepanova’s officially reprimanded by the Qualifying Collegium of the Supreme Court on June 9, 2010 for breaching the law while administering justice in a manner undermining the national judiciary’s authority.
Sincerely,B. K. Taratunin,
Chairman, Supreme Court of Karelia
June 15, 2010".
Glasnost Defense Foundation staff correspondent