Oligarch wins suit against Russian broadcaster

Oligarch wins suit against Russian broadcaster London: Self-exiled oligarch Boris Berezovsky on Wednesday won a libel case against a Russian broadcaster that accused him of masterminding the murder of a former KGB agent in London.

The 64-year-old tycoon sued All-Russian State Television and Radio Broadcasting, known as RTR, over a show that alleged he was behind the 2006 poisoning death of renegade Russian agent Alexander Litvinenko.

In the ruling Justice David Eady said "there is no evidence before me that Mr Berezovsky had any part in the murder of Mr Litvinenko. Nor, for that matter, do I see any basis for reasonable grounds to suspect him of it."

Eady awarded Berezovsky 150,000 pounds (about USD 225,000) in damages.

Berezovsky, who was in court for the verdict, said in a statement he was pleased the court "has unequivocally demolished RTR's claims."

RTR did not take part in the hearings, and called the judgement illegal. Speaking from Moscow, the broadcaster's lawyer Zoya Matviyevskaya said the company "does not recognise the decision of the court" and was ready to take the case to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

The broadcaster also complained that Eady had tried the case without a jury, an unusual situation in Britain. Last week it had demanded that the case be thrown out, saying Britain's justice system had prevented it from defending itself by demanding it reveal the source of its reporting, which it refused to do.