Moscow’s Basmanny Court has partially satisfied billionaire businessman and senator Suleiman Kerimov’s defamation lawsuit against Vedomosti, Forbes, and Sobesednik, as well as an individual Facebook user, the court’s press service told Meduza.
Initially, Kerimov filed a lawsuit against the business newspaper Vedomosti and the weekly Forbes over articles claiming that in 2005, he acquired Moscow's largest construction holding, SPK Razvitie, after the company’s office was seized by men armed with metal rods.
He also filed a separate lawsuit against the newspaper Sobesednik over an article claiming that “the biggest scam of Mr. Kerimov’s career cost [the Russian state development corporation] VEB and the [National Wealth Fund] $8 billion.”
Kerimov filed the original defamation lawsuits with Moscow’s Gagarinsky Court, which returned the claims due to a lack of jurisdiction. Then, on October 1, Facebook user Narine Davydova recounted the information contained in the disputed articles on her Facebook page — prompting Kerimov to file a unified claim with the Basmanny Court.
According to the court’s decision, the publications have to pay Kerimov 10,000 rubles ($131) each and Facebook user Narine Davydova has to pay 1,000 rubles ($13). Kerimov’s claim sought 50,000 rubles in damages ($657) from each publication, as well as 10,000 rubles from Davydova.
The defendants must also delete the disputed articles and issue retractions. According to the head of Vedomosti’s legal department, Alim Ulbashev, the court went beyond Kerimov’s demands and obliged the newspaper to delete not only the article itself but also other reports that quote disputed passages from it.
Senator Suleiman Kerimov is one of the richest businessmen in Russia. In 2020, Kerimov appeared in 13th place on the Forbes top-200 list of richest Russians. His net worth is estimated at $10 billion.