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Russian tycoon Usmanov to sue opposition figure Navalny for libel

The businessman believes Navalny "does not have any moral right to accuse him"

MOSCOW, April 11. /TASS/. Russian businessman Alisher Usmanov is going to sue oppositionist Alexei Navalny for libel in the wake of Navalny's most recent publication that mars Usmanov's honor and dignity.

"Navalny misleads people and his assertions are but sheer instances of libel," he told TASS. "I didn't pay attention to his deceitful claims because this might serve as an additional promotion to him but in the most recent false stories, he crossed the red line when he accused me of committing a crime."

"In this connection, I'm going to sue Navalny and to file a petition with the agencies of law and order," Usmanov said.

Navalny does not have any moral right to accuse him, since all his operations are transparent and legitimate and give jobs to more than a hundred thousand people and his spending for charity purposes stands atop of $ 100 million a year, he said.

The Fund for Struggle with Corruption led by Navalny published an article at the beginning of March claiming Ilya Yeliseyev, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev’s college mate, and the Sotsgosproyekt fund relate to him received a land plot and a house worth 5 billion rubles ($ 89.3 million) in the village of Znamenskoye in the elitist northwestern suburbs of Moscow.

According to Bloomberg news agency, Alisher Usmanov occupies the fifth position on the list of Russia’s wealthiest people with the personal assets totaling an estimated $ 14 billion.

He is the biggest shareholder (48%) in USM Holdings company, which controls Russia’s largest producer of iron ore, Metalloinvest, MegaFon cellular service operator, and internet company.

Usmanov also has large stakes in UTB Holding and STS Media companies and owns Kommersant publishing house.

In addition, he has 30% in UK’s Arsenal Football Club and invests successfully in high-tech assets abroad, like Xiaomi, Uber, JD and a number of others.