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Russian Opposition Weekly Convicted Of Libel

Russian opposition journalist Zoya Svetova holds a copy of "The New Times" outside a court in Moscow, on December 13.
A Moscow court has convicted an opposition magazine and its reporter of libel.

The court found "The New Times" magazine guilty on December 13 of defaming two judges in an article alleging they engaged in plagiarism.

The publication was ordered to pay $15,000 to each of the judges in damages, and journalist Zoya Svetova was fined $3,000.

Svetova called the lawsuit "legally sloppy" and the verdict "a violation of freedom of speech."

Her article said that Judge Dmitry Gordeyuk had written a thesis that closely resembled a previous article by his adviser.

Gordeyuk and the adviser, Yury Bespalov, sued the magazine, saying the article was slanderous and incorrect.

"The New Times" is an anti-Kremlin weekly with a circulation of some 25,000 copies.

Based on reporting by AFP and Interfax