In today’s Chamber judgment1 in the case of Pretorian v. Romania (application no. 45014/16) the European Court of Human Rights held, unanimously, that there had been: no violation of Article 10 (freedom of expression) of the European Convention on Human Rights. The case concerned a civil judgment against the applicant, editor-in-chief of a regional weekly newspaper, for publishing two articles in which he criticised a well-known local politician. The Court noted that, in examining the nature of the remarks contained in the two articles, the District Court had held that the applicant had made value judgments with no factual basis and had used vulgar language, and that his remarks did not therefore enjoy the protection of Article 10 of the Convention. That court had observed that the politician had done nothing to provoke the attack and that, on the contrary, it was the applicant who had engaged in provocation. The Court saw no reason to depart from those findings.
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