A Kyrgyz court has ruled in favor of two officials who claimed that an independent newspaper offended their honor and dignity through corruption allegations.
The court ordered the "De Facto" newspaper
to pay 2 million Kyrgyz soms ($57,000) compensation to the head of Bishkek city Tax Inspectorate, Taalaibek Dalbaev, and Agriculture Minister Arstanbek Nogoev. The money is to be divided equally between them.
The chief editor of "De Facto," Cholpon Orozobekova, told RFE/RL that nobody from the newspaper even knew about the trial until July 28, when it was announced by the state information agency. "De Facto" plans to appeal the court decision.
The case stems from the publication on June 12 of allegations of corruption by purported Tax Inspectorate employee Zamira Moldoeva. But the person using the pseudonym Moldoeva has never been identified.
Orozobekova also faces criminal charges for "deliberate distribution of false information."