MOSCOW, December 6 (RAPSI) – A Moscow court has ordered a newspaper to pay more than $12,000 in damages over allegations of plagiarism against two judges, RAPSI reported Friday.
Basmanny district court imposed the penalty of 410,000 rubles on the newspaper Novaya Gazeta and journalist Nikita Girin in a case for moral damages brought by a Moscow City Court judge and a retired justice.
Judge Dmitry Gordeyuk and former judge Yuri Bespalov, who is now a professor, had sought 300,000 rubles in damages and a retraction of accusations of plagiarism made in an article written by Girin and published in the opposition-leaning newspaper.
The article titled “Your plagiarism, your honor?” stated that Gordeyuk's thesis had improperly taken information from the thesis of Bespalov, his academic supervisor.
The plaintiffs accused the newspaper and the journalist of libel. They also claimed that the article served to attack their profession and the independence of the judiciary.
The court ordered the defendants to publish a retraction online and in the newspaper, and to remove the article from electronic archives.
There have been a series of recent controversies involving public figures and allegations of plagiarism. In February, Russian academic authorities revoked the doctoral degrees of 11 people accused of plagiarizing their dissertations.
They included Andrei Andriyanov, a member of the ruling United Russia party, who had been appointed head of the Kolmogorov School, an elite Moscow mathematical school. A group of alumni from the specialized research center at Moscow State University had accused him of plagiarizing parts of his dissertation
He denied the allegations but resigned his position at the school. A special commission set up to check plagiarism at Moscow State Pedagogic University found violations in 24 out of a sample of 25 dissertations defended between 2007 and 2012, including Andriyanov’s.
Dissernet, a grassroots group set up in 2011 that looks for plagiarism in academic theses by Russian officials, has identified what it claims is theft of written work by numerous high-ranking officials.
They include Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin, children's rights ombudsman Pavel Astakhov, the head of Russia’s Investigative Committee Alexander Bastrykin, and numerous members of the State Duma. Most have denied the allegations.