1 Apr 2019 19:58

Supreme Court refuses to accept Gudkov's lawsuit contesting law on insulting state symbols

MOSCOW. April 1 (Interfax) - The Russian Supreme Court has refused to accept a lawsuit filed against the State Duma and the Federation Council by ex-MP Dmitry Gudkov, who sought a full invalidation of the recently-enacted law on blocking of websites containing defamatory information insulting Russian society, state symbols and state bodies.

"Constitutional review of federal laws is wholly within the competence of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation. Therefore, the court rejects thereby to accept Gudkov's administrative statement of claim contesting the Federal Law 'On Amending the Administrative Offences Code of the Russian Federation of March 18, 2019'," the court's press service told Interfax on Monday.

Andrei Obukhov, spokesman for Gudkov, told Interfax that the Supreme Court's decision will be appealed.

"The reasons for the rejection will be communicated closer to the weekend, and the decision will be appealed in the Supreme Court's panel of appeals," he said.

Gudkov filed earlier a lawsuit with the Supreme Court, demanding that the bill on insulting state symbols be disabled. In his view, "the bill is against international law and Russian legislation and infringes the rights, freedoms and legitimate interests of the administrative plaintiff, as it stops him from exercising the rights".

Gudkov states in the suit that the contested bill was passed by the State Duma on March 7, 2019 and endorsed by the federation Council on March 13, 2019 under Article 105 of the Russian Constitution. So the administrative defendants in the suit are the bodies that adopted the contested act, i. e. the State Duma and the federation Council, he said.

Gudkov also referred to MP Pyotr Tolstoi and senator Andrei Klishas as the parties concerned in the statement of claim.

The contested law took effect immediately after Russian President Vladimir Putin signed it on March 29, 2019.

In an interview with Interfax, Klishas earlier described the opposition politician's suit as "self-promotion and farce."