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Navalny vows to appeal court’s verdict on billionaire Usmanov’s lawsuit

May 31, 19:23 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, May 31. /TASS/. Russian opposition activist and vlogger Alexey Navalny will not implement the court’s ruling on tycoon Alisher Usmanov’s lawsuit, Navalny said in an online address posted on his website on Wednesday.

"Now I am answering a question whether you, Alexey, will implement the court’s order. Of course not. I do not recognize the court’s ruling and what’s more, I do not recognize this as a court trial," he said.

Navalny justified himself saying that the order was biased since the court denied 22 out of his 23 motions, refused to summon all the witnesses, append the documents and opted not to watch the disputed video footage. Moreover, the opposition activist vowed to continue releasing it.

Earlier in the day, Moscow’s Lyublinsky District Court upheld Usmanov’s lawsuit against Navalny and his Anti-Corruption Foundation. The court ordered to delete from the internet or refute the statements concerning the plaintiff’s alleged involvement in corruption and his having been convicted for rape. Navalny is ordered to delete the relevant videos and text publications within a ten-day period and publish corrections instead that should remain in place for no less than three months, the judge added.

Earlier, Navalny said he would file an appeal with the Moscow City Court.

Usmanov’s lawsuit

Usmanov took Navalny to court after the activist’s Anti-Corruption Foundation claimed on its website in early March that Medvedev’s university mate Ilya Yeliseyev and the affiliated Sotsgosproekt fund received land and a mansion in the village of Znamenskoye on the prestigious Rublyovskoye Highway from Usmanov as a gift. The property’s estimated value is 5 billion rubles ($88.4 mln).

Usmanov insisted Navalny acknowledge that claims were a misrepresentation but did not seek any financial compensation. According to Bloomberg, Usmanov is Russia’s fifth wealthiest businessman. The agency estimates his assets at $14 billion. The businessman is the largest stakeholder of the USM Holdings (48%), which, in turn, controls Russia’s largest producer of iron products Metalloinvest, as well as the Mobile operator Megafon and the Internet company Mail.ru. Also, he owns the publishing house Kommersant and has a 30% stake in Britain’s Arsenal football club. He is an active investor in foreign high-tech assets.

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