US court rejects libel lawsuit against AP by Russian oligarch Deripaska tied to Manafort
The federal court in Washington rejected the claim of Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska to the Associated Press on libel charges because of publications about his collaboration with Donald Trump's former chief of staff, Paul Manafort, on Tuesday, October 17.
The federal court in Washington rejected the claim of Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska to the Associated Press on libel charges because of publications about his collaboration with Donald Trump's former chief of staff, Paul Manafort, on Tuesday, October 17. This is reported by the Politico edition.
"The petition was rejected due to insufficient validity of the claims," the verdict signed by Judge Ellen Sigal Huvelle, with which the correspondent of TASS got acquinted at the apparatus of the court, stated. "Deripaska described the article as accusing him of "being involved in trying to promote the Kremlin's anti-democratic agenda." However, there is no such statement," the decision says. "Deripaska presented selective proposals and brought them together so that the AP article acquired such a message, which it does not have," they decided in court.
According to the court, the Russian can not make a statement that information about the ties with the interests of the Russian government is slander, even if it is untrue, as in the case of his contract with former head of the US presidential election headquarters of Donald Trump Paul Manafort. "Thus, the court must reject the claim of Deripaska, because the statements mentioned in his statement of claim are not false and defamatory under the laws of the Federal District of Columbia," the document says.
May 15, representatives of the company Basic Element owner filed a lawsuit in the federal court of Washington with the accusation of the agency AP in libel. As stated in the document, on March 22, 2017, the agency published an article by Jeff Horwitz and Chad Day, in which "false accusations were made against Oleg Deripaska of involvement in criminal acts and other offenses." The plaintiffs demanded an official refutation, but AP lawyers announced that the agency would not refute its material, which became the reason for the claim, but would defend himself in court.
In the opinion of representatives of the Russian businessman, the disputed article was "written in such a way that a false idea was created that Deripaska's commercial transactions between 2005 and 2009 were somehow connected with alleged criminal acts and violations related to the campaign of presidential candidate Donald Trump and the presidential elections of 2016 in the United States."
The AP had no reason to report that any agreement between Deripaska and Manafort provided for the undermining of democratic movements, lawyers noted, pointing out that Deripaska "did not make any payments to Manafort for the purpose of undermining democratic movements."
In early November 2017, Basmanny Court of Moscow has satisfied the motion brought by the Main Investigations Directorate in the City of Moscow of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation (ICR) and remanded Aleksander Shukyurov, Director of the Capital Renovation Directorate State Budgetary Institution of Moscow, in custody. The head of the institution subordinate to the Department of Capital Renovation of the City of Moscow that had acted as the client in tenders worth dozens of billions of rubles is suspected of swindling on an especially large scale.