Navalny loses defamation suit against Novosibirsk mayor
MOSCOW, December 17 (RAPSI) - The Central district court in Novosibirsk on Thursday dismissed a libel lawsuit filed by opposition politician Alexei Navalny and the local branch of the People’s Freedom Party (PARNAS) against Mayor Anatoly Lokot, RIA Novosti reported.
Judge Yulia Piotrovskaya also ordered Navalny to pay the cost of the conducted forensic linguistic examination.
Lokot said at a meeting of the mayoral Public Council in late June that the Democratic Coalition, which was created with PARNAS at its core, allegedly received foreign funding. The mayor said the US Congress allegedly allocated $20 million to the party for the regional election campaign. One of the local journalists posted the mayor’s statement online.
Lokot also said that preparations for an “orange revolution” were allegedly underway in Novosibirsk, and claimed that the Democratic Coalition paid 150 rubles per signature in support of the coalition’s participation in the elections this fall.
The Democratic Coalition asked the Investigative Committee to open a case against Lokot on charges of libel and attempts to hinder a public event. The Investigative Committee declined to do so.
According to information made public in mid-April, PARNAS and Alexei Navalny’s Party of Progress agreed to nominate common candidates to elections to be held in the next two years, including the State Duma election in 2016. The Democratic Choice Party, the Party of 5 December and the Libertarian Party of Russia later joined the coalition.