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Court rejects Russian opposition activist’s appeal against ruling on tycoon’s lawsuit

August 11, 14:42 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Alexey Navalny's defense attorneys will file an appeal with the European Court of Human Rights

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Alexey Navalny

Alexey Navalny

© Stanislav Krasilnikov/TASS

MOSCOW, August 11. /TASS/. On Friday, the Moscow City Court has rejected an appeal filed by Russian blogger and opposition activist Alexey Navalny against the decision of Moscow’s Lyublinsky District Court, which earlier upheld the defamation lawsuit filed by business magnate Alisher Usmanov.

After the Moscow City Court announced its decision, the ruling on Usmanov’s lawsuit against Navalny has entered into force, which means that in ten days’ time, Navalny will have to delete incorrect information concerning the plaintiff from three websites, as well as from his YouTube channel and Facebook page.

Meanwhile, Navalny’s attorney Ivan Zhdanov has announced that the defense attorneys would file an appeal with the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).

"We will insist that the court’s decision be overturned as groundless and unlawful. First, we will turn to the Moscow City Court’s presidium and the Supreme Court, and after that, to the ECHR," Zhdanov said.

 

Defamation lawsuit

 

Usmanov took Navalny to court after the activist’s Anti-Corruption Foundation had claimed on its website that Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev’s university mate Ilya Yeliseyev and the affiliated Sotsgosproekt fund received land and a mansion from Usmanov as a gift. The property’s estimated value is five billion rubles ($88.4 mln).

Usmanov insisted Navalny acknowledge that these claims were a misrepresentation but did not seek any financial compensation.

In late May, Moscow’s Lyublinsky District Court upheld Usmanov’s lawsuit saying that the "the disputed information is damaging for his honor and dignity" and ruling that the information should be deleted from the internet.

Usmanov is considered to be one of Russia’s wealthiest businessmen. He is the largest stakeholder of the USM Holdings, which controls Russia’s largest producer of iron products Metalloinvest, as well as the Megafon mobile phone operator and the Mail.ru Internet company. He also owns the Kommersant publishing house and has a 30% stake in Britain’s Arsenal football club.

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