Mikhas continues to seek oblivion

Mikhas continues to seek oblivion
Sergey Mikhailov known as Mikhas

“Powerful” businessman Sergey Mikhailov, known as Mikhas, has asked Yandex and Google to delete links that mention him in connection with a gang.

Mikhailov's lawyer Marina Kaudelnaya submitted an application to search engines to remove 172 links to the sites, which contain her client's name. What all the articles have in common is mentioning that Mikhailov over the years has been an active member of the Solntsevo gang. 

As Mikhailov said in an interview with RBC TV cited in the application, the  links contain incorrect information that besmirches his honor and dignity, and undermines his reputation as a businessman and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the charity fund "Concern". In particular, the materials that Mikhailov seems eager to push into oblivion contain information about his  criminal record, membership in the Solntsevo organized crime grouping and his criminal nickname Mikhas.

The "right to be forgotten" was established in Russia on January 1, 2016. That's when the amendments to the “Act about information, information technologies and information protection" became law. According to it, any user of the Russian segment of the internet (known as RuNet) may require the search engines to delete links leading to outdated or spurious information or distributed in violation of the law. If the search engines ignore or refuse to meet an applicant's requests, he may apply to the court. For refusing "the right to be forgotten" search engines face a fine up to 1 million rubles.

It is worth noting that Mikhailov has already been among the first Russians who hastened to take advantage of the new right. So far, according to him, search engines have satisfied only 5% of his requests. Among the key words that are already limited by Yandex and Google are - «Sergey Mikhailov Mikhas", "Sergei Mikhailov Solntsevo", etc.

Now when you enter such a formulation Yandex warns a user: "Part of the search result is hidden under the Federal bill of 13.07.2015 No. 264". And Google notes that "some of the search results can be deleted in accordance with local legislation."

Mikhailov persistently denies the information that he has been convicted under art. 208 (organization of an illegal armed formation or participation in it), art. 209 (robbery) and 210 (organization of a criminal community or participation in it) of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation. Hence alleging his connection with the Solntsevo gang is contrary to article 49 of the Constitution, according to which the citizen can be convicted only by a court decision. According to the newspaper Kommersant, Mikhailov was sentenced in 1984 by Moscow City Court to three years of probation on charges of fraud. In 1996-1998, Mikhailov spent more than two years in a Swiss pretrial detention center on suspicion of organizing a criminal group, but in December 1998 he was acquitted by the court.

Mikhailov strongly denies his connection with criminal circles and in particular with the Solntsevo gang. However, the CrimeRussia has previously published photos of the entrepreneur in the company with very well-known and influential "thieves in law".

Mikhailov did not specify whether he was going to use the "gift" of the Russian legislators and sue the search engines, so that they continue to clear the search results. He simply clarified in the interview with RBC that he only "began to use" the "right to be forgotten".

Meanwhile, a Google spokesman declined to comment on the event. A Yandex representative could not be reached for comment.

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