Shipyard's defamation lawsuit against online publication dismissed
MOSCOW, December 19 - RAPSI, Dmitry Shchitov. A commercial court dismissed on Monday Severnaya Verf's (Northern Shipyard) defamation lawsuit against Gazeta.Ru, the Russian Legal Information Agency (RAPSI/rapsinews.com) reports from the courtroom.
The shipyard is part of former Federation Council member Sergei Pugachyov's United Industrial Corporation (UIC).
The plaintiff seeks to refute allegations published in July "as the defendant accused the shipyard of stealing public funds." A number of banks have denied financing to the shipyard as a result, the plaintiff noted.
According to a source knowledgeable about the trial preparations, the claim is based on a Gazeta.Ru article that referred to the United Shipbuilding Corporation, which is now seen as the prospective buyer of the Severnaya Verf, Baltuysky Zavod and Iceberg Design Office shipbuilding assets, and alleged that the company may opt against acquiring these entities. The newspaper also suggested that the shipyard is guilty of misappropriating funds received for defense orders.
The shipyard and other shipbuilding assets are pledged with the Central Bank under 32 billion rubles ($1 billion) loan agreements with the now-bankrupt Mezhprombank. The bank was UIC's key financier. Litigation for enforcing the pledge has been ongoing for roughly one year.
Gazeta.Ru is an online publication established in 1999.