MOSCOW, December 7 - RAPSI. The Russian Union of Journalists has negatively assessed the State Duma's possible adoption of a law limiting media access to trials.

Reports have circulated as of late that the Duma has drafted a bill on limiting media access to trials. The document would grant court judges the right to decide whether a trial should be held behind closed doors upon their own discretion, which up until now has not been possible.

Russian Union of Journalists Secretary Leonid Nikitinsky stressed that the information is both incomplete and contradictory.

"The principle of publicity and transparency must be followed in all Russian courts. There is too little available information on the bill, but it cannot result in a refusal from this principle, can it? Only a person without much knowledge about the law could have written this," Nikitinsky said.

He added that a judge can already seek to close a hearing to the public due to the participation of under-aged children in a trial or the consideration of confidential information.

"However, if the law does in fact come into force, then we will fight this disgrace. Even at the presidential council, if needed," he said.