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Kyiv Court Orders Controversial Politician Removed From Book About Dissident


The Case of Vasyl Stus

KYIV -- A court in Kyiv has ordered the removal of the name and information about Russian-friendly Ukrainian politician Viktor Medvedchuk from a book about Soviet-era Ukrainian poet and dissident Vasyl Stus, who died in a Soviet prison in 1985.

The Darnytsya district court on October 19 suspended the distribution of the book The Case of Vasyl Stus, in which the author, Viktor Kipiani, alleges that Medvedchuk, who was appointed by the Soviet authorities as Stus's lawyer at his 1980 trial, helped prosecutors to convict the dissident.

According to the court, the author's allegations have not been proven and the book can be distributed only after the sections mentioning Medvedchuk are removed. Otherwise, the book's contents "damage the reputation and honor" of the politician and lawmaker, the court ruled.

Medvedchuk heads the political council at the pro-Russian political party Opposition Platform -- For Life, and is known for his close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The book in question was published last year, prompting Medvedchuk to file a lawsuit requesting the withdrawal of the book from circulation, claiming it contained false information about him.

Dozens of activists rallied in front of the Darnytsya district court in support of the book and its author during the previous court session on October 16.

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