23 Oct 2017 20:34

Navalny appeals Moscow court judgment in Sotsgosproekt lawsuit against FBK

MOSCOW. Oct 23 (Interfax) - Alexei Navalny has appealed a judgment by Moscow's Lyublinsky court that ruled in favor of Sotsgosproekt in a libel lawsuit it had filed against the opposition politician and his Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK).

"The court has registered an appeal against the court ruling of September 19, which satisfied Sotsgosproekt's legal claims in full," a court spokesperson told Interfax on Monday

The date for hearing the complaint has yet to be set.

It was reported that Sotsgosproekt sued FBK over its investigation that claimed, in particular, that the businessman Alisher Usmanov had donated a mansion with an over four-hectare plot of land in the Odintsovo district, Moscow region, to Sotsgosproekt, whose supervisory board was chaired by Ilya Yeliseyev, a fellow student of the Russian prime minister. Sotsgosproekt asked the court to order the removal of eight fragments of the investigation and its video version, posted online on Navalny's and FBK's websites.

According to Sotsgosproekt, the given fragments contained false allegations damaging its business reputation: that the transfer of the organization's assets was Usmanov's bribe for Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev; that the foundation was part of a criminal scheme; and that the foundation was not really a charity.

Under the court ruling, Navalny and FBK had ten days from its effective date to challenge the legal claims and also to remove the given fragments from the investigation and relevant film on their online platforms.

Navalny's lawyer Ivan Zhdanov told Interfax earlier that the respondents had disagreed with the judgment and were going to appeal.

"There is no way to remove the fragments without removing the film itself, which is impossible. We will continue circulating it," Zhdanov said.

On May 31, the Lyublinsky court ruled entirely in favor of the plaintiff in a similar lawsuit filed by Usmanov against Navalny and FBK. Some of his claims related to the FBK investigation, and the court ordered it to remove the defaming information and to publish a retraction within ten days of the judgment taking effect. The court decided that Navalny and FBK must post retractions on their websites within three months.

Later the Moscow city court altered the ruling by ordering the respondents to remove only fragments of the investigative documentaries, and not all the videos.