Court approves $3k fine from anticorruption crusader in defamation suit
MOSCOW, December 22 - RAPSI. The court has upheld the $3,000 fine imposed against renowned blogger Alexei Navalny for businessman Vladlen Stepanov, Navalny’s attorney Ramil Akhmetgaliyev told the Russian Legal Information Agency (RAPSI/rapsinews.com).
The attorney recalled that a Moscow district court ordered Navalny to pay Stepanov 100,000 rubles ($3,000) under his defamation lawsuit on October 17.
The plaintiff sought over 1.1 million rubles ($34,600) from the blogger for an entry in Live Journal.
Stepanov’s attorney Andrey Muratov earlier told RAPSI that Navalny had placed on his Live Journal page an article and a video concerning the theft of public funds and Stepanov’s alleged involvement in the affair.
Muratov said the article in question also mentioned the death of Sergei Magnitsky, a consultant for Hermitage Capital Management, in a pretrial detention center on November 16, 2009.
The trial court declared one of the blogger’s articles and the video on his Live Journal page to be untrue. The article alleges that Stepanov may be involved in corrupt practices.
The court has partially satisfied Stepanov’s lawsuit and claimed moral damages from Navalny.
Navalny is a minority shareholder in several major Russian state-owned companies. In 2010, he filed several lawsuits against these companies for access to corporate information. The companies, in turn, argued these claims are nothing more than an abusive fishing expedition for harmful information against them.