14 Nov 2018 11:20

Court to try Crimean meat company's lawsuit against Navalny over reputation damage

MOSCOW. Nov 14 (Interfax) - The Moscow Arbitration Court has postponed until December 11 the preliminary hearing of the lawsuit filed by the Druzhba Narodov meat company against opposition activist Alexei Navalny over reputation damage following the investigation conducted by the Anti-Corruption Foundation on the supply of food to the Russian Guard, an Interfax correspondent has reported from the courtroom.

"The preliminary hearing is postponed until 5:50 p.m. Moscow time on December 11 for familiarization with the case materials," the judge said.

A representative of the enterprise told reporters no financial compensation is sought in the lawsuit. Vyacheslav Gimadi, a lawyer for the Anti-Corruption Foundation, for his part, said the meat company is demanding the deletion of the video and text versions of the investigation, and also a refutation.

The Anti-Corruption Foundation on August 23 published an investigation stating that the Druzhba Narodov meat company, to which the Russian government granted the exclusive right to supply foodstuffs to the Russian Guard, overpriced its goods. The foundation also said that Druzhba Narodov was owned by Zolotov's former subordinate from the Interior Forces.

After the publication of the investigation, the Russian Guard head challenged Navalny on a duel and cautioned the opposition activist against studying issues relating to the provision of food to the Russian Guard personnel, saying it was |not his subject." He also said the agency had corruption flaws, but the service was working on detecting them and the culprits were dismissed or tried in court.

The meat company, for its part, filed a lawsuit against Navalny with the Moscow Arbitration Court seeking the protection of the business reputation of the enterprise, which was mentioned in the Anti-Corruption Foundation's investigation.

According to SPARK-Interfax, the Druzhba Narodov meat company is a limited liability company registered in the village of Petrovka, Krasnogvardeisky district of Crimea. The main type of the company's operation is manufacturing products from the meat of slaughtered animals and poultry.