Journalists ask IC and Prosecutor General's Office for justice towards Dmitry Rogozin | Latest news The Moscow Post
04 August 2021

Journalists ask IC and Prosecutor General's Office for "justice" towards Dmitry Rogozin

An open letter to the Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation Igor Krasnov, Chairman of the Investigative Committee Alexander Bastrykin with a request to protect journalists from the "persecution" of head of Roscosmos Dmitry Rogozin.

Dear Igor Viktorovich and Alexander Ivanovich! I, as chief editor of The Moscow Post network edition, which operates on the basis of Article 29 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation, the Law of the Russian Federation from 27.12.1991 № 2124-1 "About mass media" (Certificate of registration of mass media El № FS 77-58429 dated 25.06.2014 issued by Roskomnadzor), repeatedly ask You to intervene in pressure applied to our editorial by the General Director of Roscosmos state corporation  Dmitry Rogozin, as a previous appeal to the Prosecutor General did not take effect.

Our editorial staff has already published an Open letter addressed to the Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation, I. V. Krasnov, in which we told about the unprecedented pressure from the police on our Editorial Office.

After publication on the website of the newspaper articles, "Rogozin – the gravedigger of the Russian space?" and "Robbery" with a double "Energy?", dedicated to the Roscosmos state corporation, due to the claim of Rogozin D. A., the interrogating officer of the 2nd Investigation Department of the Police Department of Russia in Moscow Leonov K. Y. opened a criminal case on signs of the crime provided by p. 2 art. 128.1. of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation "Defamation".

The editorial board has prepared several serious analytical investigations about the egregious situation with the Vostochny cosmodrome. Another hot topic is the situation with the Nauka module for the ISS, which cannot yet take off, since the construction of the module has been going on for more than 15 years. Repeatedly in the investigations, questions were raised: where do budget billions go in the department of Dmitry Rogozin, into what "black" hole? That is, in fact, The Moscow Post raises issues of national importance.

But many Federal Mass Media constantly write about the non-transparent activities of the Roscosmos state corporation. In most publications, there is a sharp criticism of both the activities of the state corporation itself and its Head. Why did the management of the Roscosmos state corporation choose the editorial office of The Moscow Post as a target for unprecedented pressure? This is surprising, because the analytical materials are reasonable.

The Moscow Post is nothing compared to a number of harsh articles published in other Federal publications.

Perhaps the answer may lie in the fact that the editors of The Moscow Post touched on the family interests of Dmitry Rogozin? In particular, the business interests of his son, Alexey Rogozin, who dismissed from public service? The Moscow Post journalists have been defending the shareholders who suffered from the raider actions of the Head of the Kievskaya Ploshchad company, God Nisanov, for quite a long time. It is in the structures of Nisanov that Alexey Rogozin has been working since April 2019.

We consider Dmitry Rogozin's pressure on the independent publication The Moscow Post as obstruction of legitimate journalistic activities (Article 144 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation).

However, employees of Prosecutor General’s Office ignored our appeal dating 15 June 2020  and sent it to the Moscow Prosecutor's office, from where we got a "formal reply", which says "Legality of decisions to initiate criminal proceedings was checked by the City Prosecutor's Office within the time limit provided by the criminal procedure legislation, the grounds for their cancellation have not been established. The cases were initiated due to availability of sufficient data indicating signs of crimes."

At the same time, not a word is said about the legality of the actions of law enforcement officers.

We have behind us half of the trial with Mr. Rogozin, which is currently in the appellate instance. However, the trial did not end there either. Now the editorial office of the publication and I, its editor-in-chief, are under pressure from the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

Meanwhile, after appeals to the Prosecutor General's Office, the pressure on The Moscow Post journalists only increased. Thus, on January 8, 2021. during the Christmas holidays, the investigator of the Ministry of Internal Affairs Smirnova Tatyana Alekseevna (the Department of Internal Affairs of Western Administrative District of Moscow) called my personal mobile phone and demanded that I come to her for questioning. Smirnova was not convinced by any arguments that I was ill, that I was outside of Russia, or by the curfew imposed in connection with the pandemic in the country where I was staying. Moreover, she tried to interrogate me over the phone. After clarification by my lawyer, Changli A. I. she began to bombard me with subpoenas for questioning, not responding to my written answers about the impossibility of appearing at it.

At the same time, T. A. Smirnova does not follow an open way, and does not officially send requests and letters to my name as an official to the Editor-in-Chief of The Moscow Post. To do this, she uses my personal email address.

At the moment, due to my health, I am currently abroad and I cannot return to Russia. In particular, due to restrictive measures related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, investigator Smirnova simply does not believe that I am not in Russia. Moreover, she is not limited by trying to put moral pressure on me.

The editorial office of The Moscow Post, whose legal address is registered in St. Petersburg, was visited by law enforcement agencies on behalf of T. A. Smirnova to seize documents.

Throughout the dispute, the press service of Roscosmos strongly denies the actions of Dmitry Rogozin, assuring that he does not submit applications as a representative of the state corporation – that is, not as an official, but as a representative. Nevertheless, when we sent a request to Roscosmos, where we clarified what exactly is connected with the filing of applications by Mr. Rogozin and where the articles indicate slander - the press service still gave an independent legal assessment of our actions without a court decision, stating that we "spread deliberately false information that discredits honor, dignity and undermines reputation." This, in our opinion, indicates that the head of Roscosmos, Rogozin D. A., uses his official position to achieve personal goals, which may consist in an attempt to obstruct the journalistic activities.

In addition, Dmitry Rogozin is a public person. In accordance with the practice of the European Court of Human Rights, the limits of permissible criticism against a politician are wider than against an individual and a politician must show greater tolerance.

In light of above mentioned suspicion, the editorial board of the Moscow Post asks for assistance of the Prosecutor General and the Investigative Committee of Russia because, in our opinion, now there is nothing but a hindrance to legitimate journalistic activities (article 144 of the criminal code). In accordance with article 29 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation, freedom of mass media is guaranteed, and censorship is prohibited.

On the basis of the above and guided by art. 37, 124, 140, 141, 144. p2., 145 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of the Russian Federation again I ask:

1. Conduct a check on the legality of the initiation of the above-mentioned criminal cases and cancel the illegal and unjustified decisions of the body of inquiry.

2. To instruct the staff of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation to conduct an audit in accordance with the art. 144-145 Code of Criminal Procedure on the grounds of a crime under article 144 of the criminal code "Obstruction of the lawful professional activities of journalists" and make a procedural decision.

With respect,

Editor-in-Chief

of The Moscow Post online edition

A. L. Kozlov

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