Russian Parliament Deputy promises to sue Novaya Gazeta for Panama Papers investigation
State Duma Deputy Victor Zvagelsky says he will file a libel suit against the editorial board of newspaper Novaya Gazeta. The Deputy believes the Panama Papers—leaked documents from a legal services firm that advises offshore companies—are fake. Deputy Zvagelsky has concluded the special report on the Panama Papers published by Novaya Gazeta, “Offshore Revelations,” to be based on false information.
The Deputy is also threatening to sue the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists if Novaya Gazeta cites any more of the consortium's materials. The consortium coordinated investigations into the Panama Papers.
The Novaya Gazeta special report into the leaked documents connects Deputy Zvagelsky to one offshore company in the British Virgin Islands and another in Panama. The Deputy says he left the former and denies any connection to the latter.
The Panama Papers appear to connect several of Russia's high level officials to offshore companies, including President Vladimir Putin. It is believed these companies are a way to launder money or to avoid the payment of state taxes.
The Kremlin has downplayed investigations into the Panama Papers, questioning their credibility and describing the revelations as “nothing new.”