London court to hear libel suit brought by ex-Russian senator Slutsker
MOSCOW, March 10 (RAPSI, Vladimir Yaduta) - London's High Court agreed to hear a libel suit brought by former Russian senator Vladimir Slutsker against a celebrity journalist-turned-human rights campaigner Olga Romanova over her allegations, according to the court records obtained by RAPSI on Tuesday.
“I have concluded that the claim involves a real and substantial tort in this jurisdiction, and that England is clearly the appropriate place in which to try the claim,” reads the judgment handed down by justice Warby.
The claim was filed in December 2012 over a blog post written by Romanova and published on the website of the Moscow-based radio station Echo Moscow, two articles that appeared on the website of the Russian newspaper gazeta.ru, and a programme broadcast on Radio Liberty.
Romanova claimed that Slutsker, a member of the Senate from 2002 to 2010, was behind the criminal prosecution of her husband Alexei Kozlov whom he allegedly sought to kill.
She asked the London court to throw out the claim and said that she had not been properly served with court papers.
Romanova further alleged that the claim should have been brought in Russia, although she slammed Russian judicial system for being corrupt.
The London court agreed to hear the suit on grounds that Slutsker, now a businessman mainly dealing in real estate development in Russia, "had and has a substantial and widespread reputation in this jurisdiction."
Kozlov was detained in 2008 on charges of fraud and attempted money laundering. Investigators claimed that he stole shares in leather production company Iskozh, which was part-owned by Slutsker.
Kozlov was sentenced in 2009 to eight years in prison. The sentence was subsequently reduced, and he was released from prison in June 2013.