Russian official sues for libel in High Court

The high-pressure worlds of Russian capitalism, British libel law and American journalism were brought together yesterday when Boris Berezovsky, one of Russia's most prominent businessmen and government officials, issued a writ for libel in the London High Court against Forbes, the US-based business magazine. Mr Berezovsky contends that Forbes defamed him in an article last December that referred to the 1995 murder of Vladislav Listiev, the chairman of Russia's biggest television network.

"Vladislav Listiev was my colleague and friend," Mr Berezovsky said in a statement quoted by his lawyers, who include the libel specialists George Carman and Peter Carter-Ruck and Partners.

Mr Listiev was killed shortly after he became the head of the television company now known as Russian Public Television (ORT), of which Mr Berezovsky is a chairman. No one has been brought to trial for the murder.

Mr Berezovsky's lawyers said he had chosen to bring the case in London because he had important business and official contacts in Britain, where Forbes was widely distributed.

Mr Berezovsky, a business tycoon who is also deputy head of Russia's influential Security Council, was joined in his libel action by Nikolai Glushkov, who is first deputy managing director of the Russian state airline Aeroflot. Mr Glushkov argues that the magazine defamed him by stating that he had been convicted of a crime in 1982.

The two men's lawyers said they intended to take the libel case to trial unless Forbes apologised in court for the alleged defamations. They said Mr Berezovsky was principally interested in clearing his reputation, rather than in making money out of the case, but that if they won their case they expected damages would be in the region of pounds 100,000.

The Forbes article, published on 30 December 1996, consisted mainly of a profile of Mr Berezovsky. It charted his rise to prominence since 1989 and noted his important role in supporting Mr Yeltsin's presidential re-election campaign last year.

The article was, however, unusual in that its authors were left unnamed. Mr Berezovsky's lawyers said that statements at the front of the magazine to the effect that readers would understand the need to omit the authors' names implied that their lives would be in danger from the businessman.

Forbes representatives were not immediately available for comment.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Clinical Lead / RGN

£40000 - £42000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: IT Sales Consultant

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT support company has a n...

Recruitment Genius: Works Engineer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A works engineer is required in a progressive ...

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Hire Manager - Tool Hire

£21000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client is seeking someone w...

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent
Markus Persson: If being that rich is so bad, why not just give it all away?

That's a bit rich

The billionaire inventor of computer game Minecraft says he is bored, lonely and isolated by his vast wealth. If it’s that bad, says Simon Kelner, why not just give it all away?
Euro 2016: Chris Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Wales last qualified for major tournament in 1958 but after several near misses the current crop can book place at Euro 2016 and end all the indifference
Rugby World Cup 2015: The tournament's forgotten XV

Forgotten XV of the rugby World Cup

Now the squads are out, Chris Hewett picks a side of stars who missed the cut
A groundbreaking study of 'Britain's Atlantis' long buried at the bottom of the North Sea could revolutionise how we see our prehistoric past

Britain's Atlantis

Scientific study beneath North Sea could revolutionise how we see the past