Chief Editor Of Russian Investigative Media The Insider Faces Defamation Charges - Lawyer

Chief Editor of Russian Investigative Media The Insider Faces Defamation Charges - Lawyer

MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 28th July, 2021) The editor-in-chief of online Russian investigative newspaper The Insider (designated as a foreign agent in Russia), Roman Dobrokhotov, faces charges of defamation filed by Dutch journalist Max van der Werff, lawyer Stalina Gurevich told Sputnik on Wednesday.

"Legal proceedings have been initiated following the release [by The Insider] of an article on the Russian Defense Ministry leaking information on downed Boeing [MH17] through the Dutch journalist," the lawyer, defending van der Werff, said.

Dobrokhotov is also accused of posting false information in his accounts on social media.

"We filed a civil suit, which is currently under consideration, and application on opening a legal case on defamation. The examination revealed that the information was defamatory. There is no evidence of the defense ministry propagating any information through the Dutch journalist," Gurevich added.

Flight MH17 was shot down on July 17, 2014, in eastern Ukraine on its way to Kuala Lumpur from Amsterdam. All 298 people aboard died. The Dutch-led Joint Investigative Team, which is looking into the crash, believes that the Boeing was shot down by a Russian surface-to-air missile transported on the day of the crash to the territory controlled by pro-independence militants in Donbas.

Russia says that the missile which hit the Boeing actually belonged to Ukrainian forces and was launched from the territory controlled by Kiev.

Van der Werff is an author of the investigative documentary on the crash of MH17 Boeing that supported the version that Ukraine was responsible for the plane crash. Last fall, The Insider and Bellingcat published a joint investigation claiming that Bonanza Media, a project focused on the MH17 crash and co-founded by van der Werff, was curated by Russian special services.

On July 23, Russia recognized The Insider news website as foreign agent media. The notion "foreign agent" was first introduced in 2012 and may relate to any non-government organization, individual or media outlet which is funded from abroad and considered to be a foreign agent. Those on the foreign agent list are subject to special registration and monitoring rules. In April, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law on amendments to the Code of Administrative Violations, which provide for the mandatory marking of foreign agents' materials.