U.S. court dismisses Deripaska’s appeal in libel lawsuit against Associated Press
MOSCOW, December 7 (RAPSI) – The U.S. Federal District Court of Columbia has dismissed appeals filed by Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska and the Associated Press news agency after the sides had recalled their appeals in a libel lawsuit over an article about alleged interference of Russia in U.S. Presidential elections, the case documents read on Thursday.
In May, Deripaska lodged a libel suit against the Associated Press over an article called “AP Exclusive: Before Trump job, Manafort worked to aid Putin”. He stated that this piece about alleged business relations between the businessman and Paul Manafort, a campaign manager for Donald Trump, contained false and defamatory statements.
Russian tycoon believes that the article implied that his commercial dealings during the period from 2005 to 2009 were related to the election campaign of Donald Trump.
In October, the U.S. Federal District Court of Columbia dismissed the plaintiff’s argument stating that he is not a limited-purpose public figure in the context of controversy, noting that the businessman is known as “Russian oligarch” and that he “has been the subject of more than a decade of media coverage on topics related to his wealth and his relationship with the Russian government.” In addition, the court found no evidence of malice in actions of the Associated Press.
According to the court’s ruling, the article in question did not contain “any single statement as false that is both capable of verification and capable of defamatory meaning.” As such, reformulation of Deripaska’s arguments did not address this fact and the lawsuit was dismissed.
In late November, the businessman appealed the ruling, and the Associated Press filed a counter-appeal. This Wednesday, however, the sides notified the court about recall of both appeals.