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Alfa Bank Wins Libel Case Over Klebnikov Murder Claims


Alfa Bank and the head of Alfa Group, Mikhail Frid­man, have won a case against the Moskovskaya Prav­da news­pa­per in the Moscow Arbi­tra­tion Court.

The news­pa­per pub­lished an arti­cle on July 21 describ­ing a the­o­ry that the bank and Frid­man were involved in the killing of Russ­ian jour­nal­ist Paul Kleb­nikov. The plain­tiffs found this arti­cle “black­en­ing the busi­ness rep­u­ta­tion of com­pa­nies that have the word Alpha in their names, first of all includ­ing Alpha Bank pub­lic cor­po­ra­tion, a bank­ing struc­ture led by Mikhail Frid­man,” Inter­fax news agency report­ed, cit­ing the suit.

The court found the infor­ma­tion con­cern­ing Frid­man and the bank in the paper did not rep­re­sent the real facts. The paper now has to pay three mil­lion rubles (about $102,000) to Frid­man, and two mil­lion rubles to the bank. The article’s author, Kon­stan­tin Laskin, has to pay 500,000 rubles to Frid­man and to the bank. The court deci­sion comes into force in 30 days, with the respon­dents hav­ing the right to appeal.

Kleb­nikov, edi­tor-in-chief of the Russ­ian edi­tion of Forbes, born in New York in 1963 to a fam­i­ly of Russ­ian immi­grants, was killed on July 9 as he was leav­ing his office build­ing in Moscow. He died while in an ambu­lance en route to the hos­pi­tal. The motive and the killers have still not been found.


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