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Russian court postpones hearing of Evgeny Prigozhin’s lawsuit against ‘Meduza’

Moscow’s Savelovsky District Court has postponed the hearing of the defamation lawsuit filed by Kremlin-linked oligarch Evgeny Prigozhin against Meduza and editor-in-chief Ivan Kolpakov, Dovod chief editor Ilya Kosygin, and politician Maxim Shevchenko.

The lawsuit was filed over a Dovod interview with Maxim Shevchenko, who heads the Communist Party (KPRF) faction in the Vladimir Region’s legislative assembly.  In the interview, Shevchenko commented on another defamation lawsuit filed by Prigozhin, in which he is a co-defendant.

In its publication, Dovod attached a hyperlink to a Meduza article from June 2016 to the following comment from Shevchenko: “He [Prigozhin] is a twice-convicted felon, one of the charges is for involving minors in prostitution.”

You can read the Meduza article in English here

According to the human rights organization Pravozashchita Otkrytki, whose lawyers are representing Kolpakov and Kosygin, the hearing was postponed due to problems with Prioghzin’s complaint. Apparently, the plaintiff “was unable to decide who he was making the claims against.”

As it turned out, Prigozhin doesn’t consider Meduza a legal entity, but at the same time, as a defendant, he indicates [it] as a registered media outlet, and Kolpakov as editor-in chief. With the news agency Dovod, it turned out to be even more interesting: the lawsuit was brought against the “editor-in-chief of the project Dovod Kosygin I.E.,” but the plaintiff couldn’t explain what type of project it is. 

The court postponed the hearing until February 16. On its website, the case file says that the hearing was rescheduled for “other” reasons, without specifying any details.

As requested during the preparation for the consideration of the case, the court received a copy of the verdict against Evgeny Prigozhin. The journalists [who] covered the businessman’s criminal past, and received multi-million-dollar lawsuits for it, aren’t too far from the truth: Prigozhin has a “history” of robbery, theft, fraud, and involving minors in criminal activities. 

Pravozashchita Otkrytki
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