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Thread: Prosecutor throws out Plushenko slander complaint

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    Keepin' it real gsk8's Avatar
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    Prosecutor throws out Plushenko slander complaint

    MOSCOW, May 21 (RAPSI) – The Moscow prosecutor’s office will not to pursue a criminal investigation against a television commentator who figure skating star Evgeny Plushenko claims slandered him earlier this year, a law enforcement source told RAPSI on Tuesday.

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    *shakes head* I do not understand how this case cannot go ahead. Claiming that a sportsman faked an injury is the ultimate slander. He may as well have suggested that Plushenko was on steroids. (Ooops. Better not give the NBC ideas.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by karne View Post
    Claiming that a sportsman faked an injury is the ultimate slander.
    This guy deserves a slap on the wrist at best. Paying $165,000 for a single "in my opinion" comment is hardly a suitable fine, even if such a comment was being disrespectful. Countless people have slanderously/libellously asserted that Obama is a terrorist or that he's faking his nationality and you don't find them getting sued.

    If anything, suing the guy (instead of just ignoring him or dismissing it as incorrect and without grounds) just makes one question if his statement did actually hit a nerve. It's like when Joubert sued that tabloid for saying he was gay (I mean, who really cares). When you doth protest too much, it makes people actually start to wonder...

    My thoughts after the Euros SP: "Well, he's in 6th, has no chance of winning and likely needs to skate close to his best to even medal. So, his pristine podium record is at stake, including his credibility and standing if he loses to Fernandez/Amodio/Brezina/Joubert or even one of his own countrymen. If he's actually injured, there's no point further injuring himself trying to get a bronze medal." I give him the benefit of the doubt and agree that he likely was too injured to compete in the FS, but I don't believe for a second 100% of what comes out of the Mishin camp -- if Plushenko weren't injured, I could totally picture them citing an injury and pulling him out for the reasons just stated.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CanadianSkaterGuy View Post
    This guy deserves a slap on the wrist at best. Paying $165,000 for a single "in my opinion" comment is hardly a suitable fine,
    Here I agree with you. In the US in some states they jailed some people for slander.
    It's like when Joubert sued that tabloid for saying he was gay (I mean, who really cares). When you doth protest too much, it makes people actually start to wonder...
    You just revealed quite a noticable feature of yourself- cowardness. I heard from Canadians and especially from Americans that people there are afraid to act out. France is different. There if you are quiet, people can actually start wonder. Keep in mind that cultural aspect when you come with your next rant.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gsk8 View Post
    MOSCOW, May 21 (RAPSI) – The Moscow prosecutor’s office will not to pursue a criminal investigation against a television commentator who figure skating star Evgeny Plushenko claims slandered him earlier this year, a law enforcement source told RAPSI on Tuesday.

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    What is this source? Do they even speak Russian? The only correct phrase is “The prosecutor’s office again quashed the decision not to institute criminal proceedings,” which corrresponds to the Russian "Отказ возбудить дело о клевете по заявлению Плющенко вновь отменен", the news that was in R-media a couple of days ago: http://rsport.ru/figure_skating/20130521/663314082.html . But the meaning of it is completely the opposite than the title of this source "Prosecutor throws out Plushenko slander complaint." It means that the prosecutor again disagrreed with the police decision not to start the criminal proceeding against Zhurankov. They canceled the police decision, the second time btw, and sent the case back to police for additional examination and expertise. The criminal saga is not closed. On the contrary, it's going on. And the way how the prosecutor keeps insisting doesn't look good for Durankov.

    Also, the phrase "Plushenko had attempted private prosecution" is incorrect either. Private prosecution is a separate procedure under the R-criminal code. Plu didn't file any. The remark of his lawyer was about the civil lawsuit that they intend to file.

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    Quote Originally Posted by let`s talk View Post
    Here I agree with you. In the US in some states they jailed some people for slander.
    No, I'm saying that he should NOT pay $165,000 for a comment that was "in his opinion". Btw, since 2004 in the US nobody has ever been incarcerated for defamation/libel/insult. In Russia, incarceration is only in a select few cases and Russian law acknowledges this as for the most severe defamation/libel/insult (usually against government officials and important people). In Russia, one can certainly be fined for insult that "denigrates the honour and dignity of another person in an indecent form", but that usually depends on the severity of the insult and how it's directed. That television commentator was providing his own opinion and not stating a fact (and qualified it with it being his opinion due to how it was being presented in the media)... so, essentially, it's a terrible thing to say or insinuate - particularly with no evidence - but ultimately, he's stating one's opinion and prefaced it with that.

    Do you think Skate Canada should sue Plushenko for his defamatory tweet that questioned their integrity by implying that their manipulation and politicking resulted in Chan's 2013 gold?

    Quote Originally Posted by let`s talk View Post
    You just revealed quite a noticable feature of yourself- cowardness. I heard from Canadians and especially from Americans that people there are afraid to act out. France is different. There if you are quiet, people can actually start wonder. Keep in mind that cultural aspect when you come with your next rant.
    This makes absolutely no sense but I'll try to decipher your incoherent rambling. There are plenty of North Americans who are out -- especially in Canada where gay marriage is legal. In France, gay marriage is also legal, so I don't see your point that that "if you're quiet, people actually start to wonder". Yes, homophobia will be everywhere, but if somebody accuses you of being gay, if you're a sensible person you don't sue them -- you either ignore them or just say "No, I'm not" and leave it at that. Just like if somebody says you're faking an injury, you either ignore them or you make a statement that their statement is false.

    Suing them puts you in a bad light -- and now that he's lost the slander complaint, I would bet some people might actually think that the TV commentator was actually correct since he wasn't successfully fined. It all adds fuel to a fire that doesn't even need to be started in the first place.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CanadianSkaterGuy View Post
    Btw, since 2004 in the US nobody has ever been incarcerated for defamation/libel/insult.
    Criminal reposnsibility is not cancelled in some states. Therefore anyone can be charged, found guilty and jailed at any time.
    In Russia, incarceration is only in a select few cases and Russian law acknowledges this as for the most severe defamation/libel/insult (usually against government officials and important people). In Russia, one can certainly be fined for insult that "denigrates the honour and dignity of another person in an indecent form", but that usually depends on the severity of the insult and how it's directed. That television commentator was providing his own opinion and not stating a fact (and qualified it with it being his opinion due to how it was being presented in the media)... so, essentially, it's a terrible thing to say or insinuate - particularly with no evidence - but ultimately, he's stating one's opinion and prefaced it with that.
    Lol to where the trolling can take the poor thing. Now he is acting as an the expert on Russian law. And is silly enough to demonstrate that the doesn't event speak Russian, not saying about knowing the legal mechanism and the procedure. None of your sentence is correct. You have zero knowledge or expertise on the subject. But you have the unlimited desire to troll. Now on Russian law.
    Do you think Skate Canada should sue Plushenko for his defamatory tweet that questioned their integrity by implying that their manipulation and politicking resulted in Chan's 2013 gold?
    Great idea! Maybe the civil court will do what ISU was supposed to do- judge fairly.
    This makes absolutely no sense but I'll try to decipher your incoherent rambling.
    Of course it doesn't make sense for you. You are not Euro, not French, not straight and not Brian Joubert. I'm at least two of those. So unlike you I can imagine how he felt and why he sued.
    In France, gay marriage is also legal, so I don't see your point that that "if you're quiet, people actually start to wonder".
    You are incorrect again. In France gay marriages became legal just a couple of days ago. There were not at the time when Brian's lawsuit took place. Stop posting incorrcet information.
    In Yes, homophobia will be everywhere, but if somebody accuses you of being gay, if you're a sensible person you don't sue them -- you either ignore them or just say "No, I'm not" and leave it at that. Just like if somebody says you're faking an injury, you either ignore them or you make a statement that their statement is false.
    If you were right, the jurisprudence wouldn't have laws on slander and defamation in the first place. But you are not.

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    This journalist is nobody. Plushenko is somebody. Plushenko should have just ignored the whole thing, or laughed it off.

    Skaters could sue half of the posters on Golden Skate and three-quarters of the posters on FSU, if they wanted to.

    [Edied to add]: I hope FSU doesn't sue me for saying that.
    Last edited by Mathman; 05-23-2013 at 02:18 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    This journalist is nobody. Plushenko is somebody. Plushenko should have just ignored the whole thing, or laughed it off.

    Skaters could sue half of the posters on Golden Skate and three-quarters of the posters on FSU, if they wanted to.

    [Edied to add]: I hope FSU doesn't sue me for saying that.
    But we're not journalists... Public perception is that what journalists say is always true. Especially if they say it in public, in their capacity as journalists.

    I seriously doubt that, if I make any wild claim, public at large are going to say: "Why, LRK on GS said it, so it must be true!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by LRK View Post
    But we're not journalists... Public perception is that what journalists say is always true. Especially if they say it in public, in their capacity as journalists.

    I seriously doubt that, if I make any wild claim, public at large are going to say: "Why, LRK on GS said it, so it must be true!"
    This was an opinion that was verbalized, not written and disseminated as fact. It's not as if that commentator was the only person thinking that when Plushenko pulled out. Plenty of journalists offer differing opinions and speculations, so they can't all be true. When it comes to facts, however, those must be accurate... and false claims that are presented as facts are privy to being treated as potentially slanderous/libellous.

    Ever watched a soccer match? Do you think the commentators get sued every time they suggest a player that's been tackled wasn't legitimately injured?

    And, really, who cares if he pulled out legitimately or not? He was 6th and had zero chance of winning anyways.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CanadianSkaterGuy View Post
    This was an opinion that was verbalized, not written and disseminated as fact. Plenty of journalists offer differing opinions and speculations, so they can't all be true.

    Ever watched a soccer match? Do you think the commentators get sued every time they suggest a player that's been tackled wasn't legitimately injured?
    On the other hand, in this case I think the journalist said he didn't believe that Plushenko underwent surgery in Israel. This is not a matter of opinion --either he did or he didn't. Furthermore, if the journalist had wanted to check the facts he could have done so.

    So the journalist was definitely in the wrong and deserves the scorn of public opinion. Still...meh. I hope the worst thing anyone ever says about me is that had surgery when I didn't, or vice versa. By presenting the facts, Plushenko made the journalist look like a fool, not the other way around.
    Last edited by Mathman; 05-23-2013 at 05:08 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by let`s talk View Post
    Of course it doesn't make sense for you. You are not Euro, not French, not straight and not Brian Joubert. I'm at least two of those.
    You are North American, you are Brian Joubert, you are a buffoon. You're at least one of those.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    On the other hand, in this case I think the journalist said he didn't believe that Plushenko underwent surgery in Israel. This is not a matter of opinion --either he did or he didn't. Furthermore, if the journalist had wanted to check the facts he could have done so.

    So the journalist was definitely in the wrong and deserves the scorn of public opinion. Still...meh. I hope the worst thing anyone ever says about me is that had surgery when I didn't, or vice versa. By presenting the facts, Plushenko made the journalist look like a fool, not the other way around.
    Yup, he was a bad journalist for not sourcing and as a result misappropriated the truth. Happens on Fox News all the time. And yes, he does deserve scorn and to be ridiculed for that. Sued $165,000? Hardly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    On the other hand, in this case I think the journalist said he didn't believe that Plushenko underwent surgery in Israel. This is not a matter of opinion --either he did or he didn't. Furthermore, if the journalist had wanted to check the facts he could have done so.

    So the journalist was definitely in the wrong and deserves the scorn of public opinion. Still...meh. I hope the worst thing anyone ever says about me is that had surgery when I didn't, or vice versa. By presenting the facts, Plushenko made the journalist look like a fool, not the other way around.
    Yes, this is the salient point in this particular situation. For a journalist to say, "Well, such-and-such a tennis player exaggerated his injury so he could have an extra time-out and throw off his opponent" is one thing. But this was major back surgery where part of Plushenko's back was reconstructed, and now he wants to come back as a competitive athlete. To say that this is a made-up story is impugning the truthfulness of not only Plushenko and his coach but the hospital that performed the procedure. To me such a statement by the journalist is extra malicious, and it's also kind of stupid, because such an operation is easy to verify just by the scars!

    As for whether it can be prosecuted in a court, that I couldn't say, because I have no idea of the laws of Russia. In the U.S., such a case would generally be tried not in criminal court but in civil court. (I gather it's possible to have criminal defamation cases in some states but not on the federal level, but it's not common at all.) If the case is brought in civil court, the aggrieved party would be Plushenko, not the state. And the defendant wouldn't be found "guilty" as such; he would be found liable for money damages, which could amount to quite a lot. I don't know how libel is classified in Russia. Is that what one of you meant by referring to "private prosecution"?

    In this situation I side with Plushenko. This guy was making a major statement, not just a comment about Plushenko's conduct in an individual competition. And the reporter wasn't stating it as an opinion but as a fact. Maybe Plushenko has another way of proving the journalist wrong besides a lawsuit, but if he is angry enough to sue, I couldn't blame him.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
    As for whether it can be prosecuted in a court, that I couldn't say, because I have no idea of the laws of Russia. In the U.S., such a case would generally be tried not in criminal court but in civil court. (I gather it's possible to have criminal defamation cases in some states but not on the federal level, but it's not common at all.)
    Off topic. Here's a funny one that is being argued right now in the state of Michigan. A candidate for local office was the target of a robo-phone smear campaign. He lost. The telephone caller said that this candidate was kidnapping teenaged girls, holding them captive in his basement and forcing them to make pornographic videos. The opposition candidate said he certainly didn't know anything about this, so the aggrieved party eded up suing the voice actor who made the recording.

    The voice actor's defense was, hey, someone sends me a script and a paycheck and I make a recording. That's my profession.

    No, see, that's like a hit man who kills someone but then pretends that he doesn't know the identity of the shadowy cloak-and-dagger figure who is actually behind the crime.

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