The Kremlin's ‘oil czar’ takes an independent newspaper to court for ‘smearing’ his wife and her fancy yacht
Igor Sechin, the head of the Russian oil giant Rosneft, has filed a defamation lawsuit against the independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta, demanding the destruction all printed copies of a recent edition containing a story about his wife's luxury yacht.
Sechin filed the lawsuit after a judge postponed a similar case brought by his wife against Novaya Gazeta. (His wife, Olga, was given until the end of the month to correct errors in her paperwork.)
The article in question, titled “The Secret of Princess Olga,” was published on August 1, 2016. Novaya Gazeta claims that Sechin recently married Olga Rozhkova, who took his surname. According to the newspaper's estimates, the yacht is worth nearly $100 million.
After the article's publication, Rosneft declared that a smear campaign had been launched against Olga Sechin. Rosneft threatened to sue Novaya Gazeta, the independent television channel Dozhd, and all other news sources involved in spreading the story.
So far, only Novaya Gazeta has been lucky enough to get dragged into court by Mr. Sechin.