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Ex-Traffic Cop Drops Defamation Suit Against Troitsky

A former traffic cop on Wednesday retracted defamation charges against outspoken rock critic Artemy Troitsky, who had accused him of mishandling an inquiry into a 2010 road incident involving a LUKoil vice president that killed two.

Nikolai Khovansky retracted his lawsuit with a court in Moscow's Begovoi district after a linguistic evaluation, which he requested, found nothing insulting in Troitsky's words, the Agora human rights group said in an e-mailed statement.

Khovansky will also pay authorities 35,000 rubles ($1,130) in litigation costs spent on the evaluation.

In November, Troitsky called Khovansky the "worst cop of the year" for helping clear LUKoil vice president Anatoly Barkov in the car crash on Leninsky Prospekt that killed two renowned gynecologists.

This year, Troitsky found himself at the center of four other defamation lawsuits, including another one by Khovansky, two by Kremlin-friendly rock star Vadim Samoilov and one by former Kremlin insider Vladimir Kiselyov, who heads the Federation charity.

In September, a Moscow court ordered Troitsky and the liberal Novaya Gazeta newspaper to pay 50 kopeks ($0.01) apiece in the defamation lawsuit filed by Kiselyov, whom Troitsky accused of misappropriating money raised at a December event for sick children. The event was attended by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and Hollywood stars like Sharon Stone and Kevin Costner.

In June, the Moscow City Court upheld a lower court's decision to convict Troitsky of slandering Khovansky in the second lawsuit but said the fine of 130,000 rubles ($4,600) must be reconsidered.

Troitsky, 55, is still awaiting trial on the two lawsuits filed by Samoilov, whom Troitsky called a "poodle" of Kremlin First Deputy Chief of Staff Vladislav Surkov.

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