Court decides OCU had right to accuse Dnipro mayor of disrespect for Tomos
Boris Filatov tried through the court to refute the information that he allegedly allowed himself “frivolous statements about the Tomos and the Church”.
On April 18, 2019, during a press conference, Zinkevich stated that Filatov allowed himself to be frivolous in addressing the “Tomos and the Church”.
“When you try to talk like that about the Tomos today: does our state need it or not? Today he took on the Tomos, and tomorrow he will ask the state: do we need our statehood? I believe that the Tomos is a national treasure,” said the head of the Dnipro Eparchy of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine.
The mayor of Dnipro regarded this as a threat to his honour, dignity and business reputation, for the protection of which he went to court. He considered Zinkevich’s statements to be far-fetched and unreliable and stated that they negatively impact his business reputation.
A representative of the “bishop” of the OCU prepared a response to the lawsuit, in which he explained that the Tomos topic is of public interest.
The court analyzed the arguments submitted by the parties and concluded that the limit of acceptable criticism of Filatov was much wider.
“The dissemination of information by the head of the Dnipro Eparchy of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine at a press conference on April 18, 2019, is his own judgment and assessment of certain events,” the court decided.
They also noted that Zinkevich expressing his own views and assumptions is not obliged to prove the veracity of these views and assumptions.
“This is a violation of freedom on one’s own point of view (Article 10 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms),” the court explained.
He admitted that the “hierarch” of the PCU did not provide adequate evidence of Filatov’s critical attitude towards receiving the Tomos by the OCU, as well as to the country's army and statehood.
Earlier, the Dnipro mayor called Zinkevich’s statement about his words regarding the Tomos “a cynical lie on the part of a respected clergyman” and demanded that the “bishop” of the OCU provide “at least one confirmed fact of my allegedly negative statements about the Tomos”.
Zinkevich ignored this demand and Filatov sued him.