Police accuse journalist Sobchak of spreading falsehoods about government agencies

Baku, October 3, AZERTAC

Police have accused journalist Ksenia Sobchak of spreading falsehoods about government agencies and have sent evidence to the Russian Investigative Committee for starting a criminal case, a representative of law enforcement agencies told TASS.

The representative said the falsehoods concern government financing of festivals.

Police earlier started a libel investigation against film director Vitaly Mansky who said in an interview to Sobchak on YouTube that allegedly "at least 85% of the budget gets stolen" at the Moscow International Film Festival. Sobchak was interrogated as a witness in the case.

During that interrogation Sobchak, when asked who created and posted the false information, said "she was ready to assume responsibility as the platform where the falsehood appeared doesn’t have any administrators, and the story had no editors or video directors," the representative said. Investigators believe the journalist committed an offense provided for by Criminal Code Article 207.3: public dissemination of deliberately false information about execution of its authority by a government agency, the person said. A request to start a criminal case against Sobchak has been sent to the Moscow City office of the Russian Investigative Committee, he said.

Investigators now have one month to decide whether they start a case or turn down the request.

Criminal Code Article 207.3 was instituted in March of this year and carries a punishment of up to three years in jail.

The investigation against Mansky was started based on a complaint from film director Nikita Mikhalkov. The Interior Ministry put Mansky on a wanted list.

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