Alexander Lebedev loses another defamation suit against publisher
MOSCOW, November 17 - RAPSI, Alyona Yegorova. A commercial court dismissed on Thursday a defamation lawsuit filed by the billionaire Alexander Lebedev and his National Reserve Bank (NRB) against Kommersant's publishers, the Russian Legal Information Agency (RAPSI) reports from the courtroom.
The plaintiff sought 11 million rubles ($356,660) in damages.
NRB and Lebedev filed four defamation lawsuits against Kommersant this summer. Their actions were provoked by the newspaper's allegations that NRB was under investigation due to the embezzlement of public funds allocated for the Rosiisky Capital bank's bailout. The lawsuit is based on a March 4 story titled, "NRB returns profits to shareholders."
NRB lawyers said the false information negatively affects the bank's reputation and requested that Kommersant publish the judgment as a refutation and pay 10 million rubles ($324,000) to the bank and 1 million rubles ($32,400) to Lebedev in compensation.
Earlier, the plaintiffs said former Rosiisky Capital Board Chairperson Irina Kireeva was charged with capital flight. Kommersant called the statements unfounded as the "disputed passages lack discrediting information."
The court dismissed in October two other lawsuits filed by NRB and Lebedev against Kommersant concerning other stories. The NRB's defamation lawsuit against Kommersant's publishers for 10 million rubles was dismissed on November 7.