MOSCOW, May 14 - RAPSI. The Hamburg Supreme Court has validated the lower-court decision prohibiting the Wirtschaftswoche magazine from disseminating former Maxi-Group head Nikolai Maximov's statements about Novolipetsk Iron and Steel Works (NLMK), according to the court decision.

A copy of the decision has been made available to the Russian Legal Information Agency (RAPSI/

In March 2011, the Hamburg Land Court prohibited Handelsblatt from disseminating remarks made by Maximov during an interview published in Wirtschaftswoche in December 2010.

The ban came into effect while reviewing a lawsuit filed by NLMK and its head Vladimir Lisin against the Handelsblatt publishing house. In May 2011, the court finally prohibited the publication of items in dispute. The court ruled that the proceedings have not been supported by evidence.

Specifically, Maximov alleged that NLMK deceived him, raided the Maxi-Group and then devaluated the company. Maximov said Russia's law enforcement authorities answer to the whims of entrepreneurs.

The court found the statements to be groundless and banned their further publication.

The defendant disputed the decision with the Supreme Court of Hamburg. However, the judges sided with the plaintiffs and found the lower-court decision to be grounded.
RAPSI has yet to obtain comments from Maximov and his representatives.

In December 2007, the Novolipetsk Iron & Steel Corporation (NLMK) acquired a 50 percent plus one share in the Maxi-Group, which integrated companies ranging from scrap processing to steel production. The acquisition was based on an agreement that did not stipulate the fixed price of the stake.

The final calculation was postponed until the completion of a financial and legal inspection of Maxi-Group's companies. Maximov was granted an advance payment worth about 7.3 billion rubles ($245 million).

Eventually, disagreements between the parties as to the transaction amount led to legal disputes.