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Moscow police open case on libel charges against opposition blogger

May 20, 0:46 UTC+3 MOSCOW
At the time of reporting TASS did not have official comments from the agencies of law and order or from Navalny personally
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Alexei Navalny

Alexei Navalny

© TASS

MOSCOW, May 19. /TASS/. Moscow City police have opened a criminal case invoking libel charges against the oppositionist blogger Alexei Navalny, TASS was told by Pavel Karpov, a former investigator who filed a lawsuit against controversial blogger.

"On the basis of a suit I filed with the Maryino district police department, a case citing Clauses 2 and 5 of Article 128.1 of the Russian Criminal Code (Libel) has been instituted," Karpov said. "It entails a fine of up to 5 million rubles or compulsory public works of up to 480 hours."

According to Pavlov, his lawsuit was filed pending the articles that Navalny placed on his website. They contained references to a four-part documentary ‘The Caste of the Untouchable’ where the authors claimed, among other things, Karpov had played a role in the death of Sergei Magnitsky, a lawyer of the Hermitage Capital investment fund.

"I’d like to recall the Meshchansky district court recognized this data as the one running counter to reality and marring my dignity.

"This means Navalny has assumed responsibility for the circulation of claims unsubstantiated by reality," Karpov said, adding he did not know anything at the moment about whatever decisions of Interior agencies.

At the time of reporting TASS did not have official comments from the agencies of law and order or from Navalny personally.

Following Karpov’s lawsuit the Meshchansky district court in Moscow ruled that the defendants in the case - the British foundation Hermitage Capital, Hermitage Capital Ltd., the head of the organization Bill Browder, and the managing partner of the Firestone Duncan audit company, Jamison Firestone were to pay off a moral damage of 100,000 rubles (slightly more than $ 1,560).

The court recognized the information on Karpov’s involvement in Magnitsky’s death the defenders had been spreading was damaging and stood at variance with reality.

Later on, Moscow City Court increased the compensation to 8 million rubles.

Karpov said he had questioned Magnitsky in connection with the case for Kameya company. He supervised it at the stage when the no criminal charges had yet been issued to the man.

Magnitstky died in an intensive care ward at hospital at the age of 37 on November 16, 2009. Investigators said late. Investigators said the detention center physicians had failed to administer proper treatment to him after he had complained over a sharp deterioration of this health status.

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