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.