Libel claim over Magnitsky death struck out

The Telegraph

A British hedge fund manager saw a long-running libel action brought by a former Russian Interior Ministry investigator struck out by a High Court judge on Monday.

Hedge fund chief Bill Browder, had been accused by Pavel Karpov, 36, of ruining his reputation by alleging the Russian was behind a massive fraud on the Russian taxpayer.

Mr Browder was also being sued for allegedly linking Mr Karpov to the brutal death of anti-corruption activist Sergei Magnitsky.

But striking out the action, Mr Justice Simon said: “The claimaint cannot establish a reputation within this jurisdiction sufficient to establish a real and substantial tort… his connection with this country is exiguous.”

Russia was “the natural forum” for the litigation, the judgment read.

“Taking all these matters into account…I have concluded that these proceedings should be struck out as abuse of the process and/or under inherent jurisdiction.”

Mr Browder, 49, the chief executive of Hermitage Capital Management, appeared relieved as the decision was announced today.

Mr Karpov had earlier admitted he did not possess adequate funds to pursue the case, leading Browder’s lawyers to suggest the court “cannot be satisfied that the Russian state is not behind the claims in some way”.

“The most serious allegations…are not true and are not justified: the claimant did not arrest Mr Magnitsky and did not torture or kill him”, lawyers for Mr Karpov had submitted in writing.

In 2007, auditor and accountant Sergei Magnitsky set out to expose a $230m (£144m) theft by Russian state officials, including police, the judiciary, tax authorities and the mafia.

But after going public with his findings, the 37-year-old was arrested and found dead in his Moscow cell on November 16 2009.

Russian officials are alleged to have tortured the lawyer and declined to provide treatment for his various medical conditions, in an attempt to make him testify against Hermitage Capital Management.
Mr Browder’s ceaseless campaigning against Magnitsky’s killers and Russian state corruption led to President Obama signing ‘The Magnitsky Act’ in December 2012. The act bans Russian officials thought to be connected with lawyer’s death from entering the US, as well as freezing their American-based assets.
This list includes Mr Karpov.

In July of this year, Russian authorities took the unprecedented step of posthumously prosecuting Magnitsky. The lawyer was found guilty of tax evasion while Browder was sentenced in absentia to nine years imprisonment. Amnesty International described the show-trial as ‘deeply sinister’.
Mr Karpov continues to deny involvement in fraud or the death of Magnitsky.
His libel action against Mr Browder was struck out.

The case has been described as an example of libel tourism, where foreign nationals with little or no connection to the UK use the High Court to settle their disputes. займы онлайн на карту срочно микрозайм онлайн zp-pdl.com https://zp-pdl.com/fast-and-easy-payday-loans-online.php быстрые займы онлайн

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