Soviet dissident Bukovsky ‘seeks £100,000 from Crown Prosecution Service’ after child porno claims

Vladimir Bukovsky, a former Soviet dissident. © Sergei Karpukhin
A prominent Soviet dissident, Vladimir Bukovsky, has reportedly sued the Crown Prosecution Office, seeking £100,000 ($157,000) in damages. The office previously accused him of creating and possessing indecent images of children.

The writ, which was issued in the high court in London, says that the Crown Prosecution Office (СPS) “falsely and maliciously” damaged Bukovsky’s reputation and abused its powers, The Guardian reported.

According to Bukovsky, the CPS claims, which he says were not supported by evidence, have been widely distributed in media since their announcement in April.

On Monday, he told The Guardian that CPS “have simply libeled him, and must at least apologize.”

“The public statement made by the CPS against me is extremely misleading, and indeed libelous. It now looks like they simply have no evidence to support the most serious of their allegations, and the whole thing was little more than a propaganda stunt.”

In April, CPS issued a statement saying Bukovsky was going to be “prosecuted over indecent images of children.” 

“The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has authorized the prosecution of Vladimir Bukovsky, 72, for five charges of making indecent images of children, five charges of possession of indecent images of children and one charge of possession of a prohibited image,” the office said.

British media was quick to report that under the 1978 Children Act, Bukovsky would be facing up to 10 years in prison. However, in less severe cases offenders can be sentenced to community service.

READ MORE: Russian dissident Bukovsky to go to UK court over child abuse image charges

At the time the charges were announced, the 72-year-old Bukovsky, a writer and political activist, told BBC that it was the first time he had ever heard of any such suspicions against him.

“I categorically deny making any indecent or prohibited photographs, pseudo-photographs, or videos of children. Indeed, I had no contact with any children whatsoever for very many years,” he said.

He added that he is suffering from a serious disease and his chances of survival are unclear. Despite that, he said: “I intend to defend myself vigorously on all charges.”

Bukovsky was a prominent member of the dissident movement that exposed the Soviet leadership’s use of psychiatric wards to hold political prisoners. In 1972, he was sentenced to two years in jail and five years in exile. In 1976, the Soviet leadership exchanged him for Luis Corvalan, a Communist leader who was imprisoned in Chile, allowing Bukovsky to leave the USSR and eventually settle in the UK. Since that time, he has continued his work in uncovering the injustices of the Soviet system, and has written works critical of the current government in Moscow.