Moscow court orders Meduza to retract article about catering magnate Evgeny Prigozhin and pay compensation
The Moscow City Court has overturned a district court’s previous ruling on oligarch Evgeny Prigozhin’s defamation lawsuit against Meduza and editor-in-chief Ivan Kopalkov, reports human rights lawyer Sergey Badamshin, who is representing Meduza and Kopalkov in the proceedings.
The lawsuit was filed over a Dovod interview with Maxim Shevchenko, who was heading 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.
The Moscow City Court ordered Meduza to delete the article in question within 10 days and pay Prigozhin 80,000 rubles in compensation (about $1,085). You can read the article, titled “Evgeny Prigozhin’s right to be forgotten,” in English here.
The co-defendants in the case, Dovod editor-in-chief Ilya Kosygin and journalist Maxim Shevchenko, were also found guilty of defamation and ordered to pay 80,000 rubles in compensation each.
A Moscow district court refused to satisfy Prigozhin’s lawsuit back in February. The oligarch challenged this decision in April.
Meduza plans to challenge the Moscow City Court’s Decision in appeal court.
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.