Four Russian billionaires and a state-owned energy giant have filed a proceeding against HarperCollins over a book published last year about the rise of Vladimir Putin.
Legal assault on books, Putin peopleHas been brought to court in London, including banking, retail and telecommunications giant Mikhail Fridman and Chelsea football club owner Roman Abramovich.
The defamation and data protection proceedings, along with book author Catherine Belton, a former Financial Times journalist, nominate HarperCollins’ British arm. Putin peopleIt details the relationship between the rise of the Russian president to power and the wealthy oligarchy, released in April 2020.
The proceedings highlight the high-stakes nature of writing about a strong oligarchy and the role of London-based lawyers in protecting the interests of the global elite. The law firms on behalf of the plaintiffs are Carter-Ruck, CMS, Harbottle & Lewis, and Taylor Wessing.
HarperCollins described Berton’s book as “an authoritative, important, and sincerely procured work.” “We firmly defend this highly regarded breakthrough book and the right to report on significant public interest issues,” the publisher added. Belton did not have any individual comments.
Abramovich, who filed the first proceeding, With markH said his “action was not neglected” and that the book contained a “false defamation” statement about him. According to court documents, Abramovich’s defamation proceedings disagree with Putin’s allegations that he ordered the acquisition of Chelsea in 2003 and other allegations. Abramovich spokesman made no further comments.
The book claims that he had exiled, fled the country, and expelled Russian billionaire Sergei Pugachyov, who was a member of Putin’s inner circle before becoming a dissident. In the 2017 case, a judge in the High Court described Pugachev as an unreliable witness.
Other plaintiffs whose actions have not been previously reported are Fridman, his longtime business partner Peter Aven, Russian real estate tycoon Sharva Chigirinsky, and the Kremlin-controlled oil producer Rosneft. Aven brought his claim under data protection law. Court documents for these cases are not yet available.
The proceedings continued rapidly in March and April, approaching the one-year deadline for defamation proceedings in the United Kingdom.
“We can confirm that neither Mr. Aven nor Mr. Fridman had prior knowledge of the other proceedings you mentioned,” a Fridman spokesman said in a statement. “They had no contact with other plaintiffs or their lawyers and did not coordinate their legal strategies.
“The proceedings of Mr. Aven and Mr. Friedman only occur after the defendant (HarperCollins) refuses to discuss a series of corrective actions proposed by Mr. Aven and a lawyer representing Mr. Friedman within the applicable statute of limitations. It was raised, “the spokesman added.
Rosneft did not respond to requests for comment. Chigirinsky was unable to contact immediately for comment through his lawyer.
Jessica Ní Mahinín of Index on Censorship, a group of freedom of expression, said London courts are becoming a forum for proceedings aimed at “suppressing critical journalism, not just in the UK but around the world.” ..
She added that Britain has a global industry that would benefit from such proceedings against journalists and called for the introduction of reforms.
Russian billionaire filed proceedings over a book about Putin’s rise
Source link Russian billionaire filed proceedings over a book about Putin’s rise