MOSCOW, March 10 (RAPSI) - Moscow’s Meshchansky District Court on Tuesday ordered Hermitage Capital Management and its CEO William Browder to pay 100,000 rubles (about $1,700) to Pavel Karpov, a former Russian Interior Ministry investigator, RAPSI reports from the courtroom.
The court thus granted a defamation suit filed by Karpov in part. The defendants failed to appear in court.
Karpov, who was put on the sanctions list over Sergei Magnitsky’s case, claims that Browder and Jamieson Firestone, managing partner of the law firm Firestone Duncan, have been working hard for the past few years to ruin his honor, dignity and business reputation.
They accused him publicly on many occasions of committing serious crimes, posted abusive videos on the Internet, and also made allegations in their interviews with mass media, according to Karpov.
The campaign run by Hermitage Capital and Browder led to sanctions against him, the plaintiff said.
Initially, he demanded 255 million rubles ($4.3 million). Later, he increased the defamation damages claim after calculating the number of video reports and news items that contain information he is contesting and multiplying each by 100 rubles. This has increased the damages to 6.16 billion rubles ($103 million).
Karpov filed a vindication lawsuit against UK investment fund manager Bill Browder and Jamieson Firestone, co-founder of law firm Firestone Duncan, at the London High Court in 2012. He sued them for posting defamatory information about him online, in particular a claim that he was involved in the death of Magnitsky in pretrial detention in 2009. The London court rejected the claim.
Sergei Magnitsky, who was acting for Browder and his Hermitage Capital Management, was arrested after accusing Russian officials of a $230-million fraud, and died in prison in suspicious circumstances.
He was posthumously found guilty of tax evasion by a Moscow court in July 2013. Browder was convicted in absentia and sentenced to nine years in jail in the same trial.