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Moscow court rejects Navalny’s lawsuit against Russia's biggest media holding

July 12, 14:29 UTC+3
Of course, we will appeal it, Navalny said
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© Mikhail Pochuyev/TASS, archive

MOSCOW, July 12. /TASS/. Moscow’s Savyolovsky District Court has rejected the anti-defamation lawsuit filed by blogger Alexei Navalny against Russia’s VGTRK TV and radio company, its Deputy Director General Dmitry Kiselyov and reporter Yevgeny Popov.

"To reject the lawsuit fully," the judge ruled. The reason for the lawsuit was the announcement of the Browder Effect documentary shown in the Vesti Nedeli (News of the Week) program on Rossiya 1 TV channel on April 10, 2016. The program is hosted by Dmitry Kiselyov and Yevgeny Popov is the author of the documentary, which said that Navalny’s activities are allegedly financed by the UK intelligence services and featured documents and letters proving his possible links to head of Hermitage Capital Management William Browder.

Navalny asked to publish a retraction saying that the information given in the documentary was not true, including regarding his negotiations with former State Duma member Ilya Ponomaryov. The representative of the VGTRK media holding asked the court to reject the lawsuit. "The plaintiff did not confirm that the information is defamatory. I ask to reject his claim," she said.

The court also attached to the case a reply of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) to Navalny’s inquiry that no criminal case for high treason has been initiated against him. Navalny earlier got in touch with the FSB asking it to verify the information featured in the documentary.

The plaintiff said after the hearing that he expected this ruling. "Of course, we will appeal it," Navalny said.

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