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Online news site threatened with defamation suit for not revealing sources

(IMI/IFEX) - A lawyer with the Chernigivoblenergo energy company is demanding that online news site Vysokiy Val disclose its source for information which allegedly defamed him.

Edward Rutkovsky is also threatening to file defamation charges against the news website and claim moral damages, Oleh Golovatenko, director of Vysokiy Val online told the Institute of Mass Information (IMI).

Chernigivoblenergo is the energy provider for the Chernigiv region in the Ukraine.

Earlier, the website received a letter signed by six employees of the energy company, claiming that Rutkovsky had abused his position. The letter was published on Vysokiy Val's web site on 14 May. But after Rutkovsky complained to the editor-in-chief that the allegations were baseless, the letter was pulled from the site. The editor-in-chief suggested Rutkosky express his side of the story on the news site, but the lawyer declined.

Rutkovsky refused to comment on the incident publicly but spoke to IMI on the phone.

Sources in the Ukraine are protected by a number of international acts, as well as by the country's own print media law.

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