Сөз бостандығын қорғау халықаралық қоры
Международный фонд защиты свободы слова
The International Foundation for Freedom of Speech Protection

Journalist on Trial for Posting About School Janitor's Dismissal

25 january 2024

January 25, 2024 In the Aktobe region, two journalists have been accused of defamation for reporting on the dismissal of a school janitor. One has already been acquitted by the court. The trial of his colleague is currently underway.
On January 23, in the specialized inter-district court for administrative offenses of Aktobe city, the trial for defamation began against journalist Ardak Yerubayeva.
As it was reported, in November last year, TilshiNews.kz editor Askar Aktleuov and journalist Ardak Yerubayeva posted on their Instagram accounts information about the dismissal of school janitor Moldir Gapiz, who had complained to the regional akim about problems at the school. The director of the gymnasium believed that the journalists had disseminated knowingly false information, linking the janitor's dismissal with complaints to the regional akim, and filed a police report demanding that they be held administratively responsible for defamation.
After public outcry, the janitor was rehired at the gymnasium. On January 15, Askar Aktleuov was acquitted of defamation by the court due to the absence of an administrative offense.
However, the trial of Ardak Yerubayeva has just begun. The police department sent the texts of the posts for expert analysis, the results of which have not yet been received. Nevertheless, on January 23, Ardak received a notification that the case materials had been transferred to court, and a hearing was scheduled for 5 PM Aktobe time.
Ardak reports that the judge had questions about the protocol for the administrative offense. Specifically, why the protocol was sent to court without the results of the expert analysis, which was commissioned to determine whether the journalist is guilty or not.
The journalist's lawyer, Sisembai Delmanov, asked the court to declare the protocol illegal and to dismiss the case.
The next hearing is scheduled for February 2.

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