Kochanski Zieba Rapala & Partners wins another case in defense of freedom of speech in the first instance
On 7 August 2012 the Regional Court in Warsaw dismissed, in its entirety, the action of Sovereign Capital in the case against Ringier Axel Springer Polska Sp. z o.o. and Wojciech Cieśla, the author.
The case was fought over alleged infringement of personal interests by the article titled “Transparency International hides its sponsors and settles their matters” published on 30 April 2009 in Dziennik Polska Europa Świat. The article by Wojciech Cieśla won the Grand Press award in 2009 in the investigative journalism category.
One of the main companies featured in the article was Sovereign Capital, which claimed that the article violated its personal interests and sued the publisher and the author of the text, calling for an apology, compensation and payment to charity. Tobiasz Szychowski from Kochański Zięba Rapala & Partners represented Ringier Axel Springer publishing house – one of the largest Polish publishers and author of the article.
The Regional Court dismissed the action finding that the allegations raised by Sovereign Capital concerning infringement of journalistic integrity and diligence were unfounded and unjustified. According to the Court, the article contained true information and justifiable critical assessment; which journalists have the right to do. The judgment is not final and binding.