MOSCOW, August 2 - RAPSI. The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York has rejected the lawsuit by former State Duma deputy Ashot Yegiazaryan against U.S. human rights activist Pyotr Zalmayev, Kommersant newspaper reported on Thursday.
According to the newspaper, the lawsuit concerned an article written by Zalmayev which stated that the U.S. should not grant political sanctuary to a businessman whom Russia has placed on the international wanted list for his involvement in several major shady transactions.
Zalmayev was supported by head of Moscow Helsinki Group Lyudmila Alexeyeva, Lev Ponomaryov and other human rights activists.
Yegiazaryan faces a criminal investigation in Russia for large-scale fraud. He was placed on the federal wanted list in November and on the international wanted list in December 2010. In April 2011, he filed a lawsuit against U.S. citizen Pyotr Zalmayev, accusing him of libel for publishing false statements in the Jewish Journal which damaged his reputation.
Yegiazaryan claimed that he was the victim of a corporate raid initiated by Russian businessmen Suleyman Kerimov and Arkady Rotenberg, as well as ex-Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov. Yegiazaryan believes that the conflict stemmed from his participation in the Moskva Hotel renovation project.
Russian investigators believe Yegiazaryan together with three accomplices fraudulently acquired 20 percent of the shares in Tsenturion Alliance to the value of 1.57 billion rubles ($48.5 million). Investigators also believe that in 2002 and 2003, Yegiazaryan proposed his friend Mikhail Ananyev to finance the construction of a shopping center on the Rublyovskoye Highway and the renovation of the Moskva Hotel in Moscow. Yegiazaryan promised Ananyev a share in the business based on Ananyev's investment.
Yegiazaryan is now accused of embezzling Ananyev's 500 million ruble plus ($15.4 million) investment.