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Libel case against newspaper dismissed

(Globe International/IFEX) - Ulaanbaatar, March 10, 2010 - A civil claim against "Zavkhan" newspaper that has lasted more than a year has been withdrawn, in a move that Globe International considers to be a victory.

The individuals whose names were mentioned in a letter published by the newspaper on 10 February 2009 launched a libel suit calling for their reputations to be restored with a compensation of nine million tugrik (approx. US$6200).

A lower court in Zavkhan province ruled that the newspaper had to compensate the claimants as reimbursement for their court fees, as well as publish a retraction. The newspaper disagreed with the ruling and appealed, but the appeals court left the original decision unchanged. The case was then referred to a higher court.

In a hearing on 24 September 2009, a branch of the Supreme Court of Mongolia revoked the decisions of the lower court and the appeals court and ruled that the case should be heard again in the lower courts. During the new hearing, the plaintiffs withdrew their claim, which led to the case being dismissed.

A lawyer from Globe International, G. Davaakhuu, defended the newspaper.

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