MOSCOW, August 24 - RAPSI, Alyona Yegorova. The Moscow Commercial Court has scheduled an October 5 hearing for the defamation lawsuit filed by Alexander Lebedev and the National Reserve Bank (NRB) against Kommersants publisher. The suit seeks 11 million rubles ($393,000) in damages, the Russian Legal Information Agency (RAPSI) reports from the courtroom.

According to earlier reports, Lebedev requested that Kommersant retract its story regarding the criminal case investigating the theft of state funds in relation to the bank. The funds were allocated to bailout the Rossiysky Capital bank.

The story ran in the February 17 issue and was titled "NRB is divided by right of succession." The plaintiffs are bristling at three paragraphs describing the transfer of NRB shares to the control of Lebedevs son.

The authors of the article, Darya Yurishcheva and Alexander Mazunin are involved as co-defendants. The plaintiffs are seeking 1 million rubles for Lebedev and 10 million for the bank.

The National Reserve Bank was established in April 1994.