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Russian Journalist Wins Lawsuit Against Authorities

Sergei Kurt-Adzhiev
Sergei Kurt-Adzhiev
SAMARA, Russia -- Russia's Finance Ministry has been ordered to pay 450,000 rubles ($15,200) to a journalist for incorrectly charging him with using pirated software, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

Sergei Kurt-Adzhiev was found guilty in July 2008 of using non-licensed computer programs in the office of the newspaper "Novaya Gazeta v Samare," for which he works. He was fined 15,000 rubles (about $500).

Kurt-Adzhiev appealed the court's decision over a period of two and a half years. Samara's Oktyabr (October) district court ruled on February 2 that Kurt-Adzhiev was not guilty and ordered the ministry pay compensation.

Kurt-Adzhiev told journalists he was satisfied with the court's ruling. He said the case against him in 2008 was politically motivated. He said police also visited the branch offices of "Novaya Gazeta" in Nizhny Novgorod in 2008 and confiscated computers.

"Novaya Gazeta" is a Moscow-based independent weekly with subsidiaries in various Russian cities. Several of its journalists have been harassed or killed in recent years.

Read in Russian here