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Russian court dismisses Evgeny Prigozhin’s lawsuit against ‘Meduza’

Moscow’s Savelovsky District Court has dismissed 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.

This was reported on Telegram by lawyer Sergey Badamshin from the human rights organization Pravozashchita Otkrytki, who represented Ivan Kolpakov in the proceedings.

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

Prigozhin’s suit stated that it was filed against Meduza’s editorial office “represented by its editor-in-chief Ivan Kolpakov.” The lawsuit claimed that the defendants had damaged the oligarch’s “honor, dignity, and business reputation.”

Prigozhin’s lawsuit against Meduza editor-in-chief Ivan Kolpakov, Dovod chief editor Ilya Kosygin, and politician Maxim Shevchenko became known in November 2020.

The first hearing took place at the Savelovsky Court on January 22. However, the judge postponed the hearing until February 16. According to Pravozashchita Otkrytki, whose lawyers represented Kolpakov and Kosygin, the hearing was rescheduled because the plaintiff “was unable to decide who he was making the claims against.”

In 2016, Evgeny Prigozhin filed a number of lawsuits against the Internet companies Yandex, Google and Mail.ru under Russia’s law on the “right to be forgotten,” demanding that the Internet companies delete search results linking to articles that he believed tarnished his business reputation. Prigozhin later withdrew the claims against Yandex and Mail.ru; a court rejected the lawsuit against Google.

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