A Moscow court on Monday partially ruled in favor of Russian Railways head Vladimir Yakunin in a lawsuit against leading U.S. newspaper The New York Times, declaring information in an article as false.
"We have achieved the main objective. The information was declared false," Yakunin's lawyer Alexei Melnikov told The Moscow Times by phone.
The defendant said it would be impossible to fulfill the court's decision as The New York Times is registered in the United States and only has a bureau in Moscow, the Interfax news agency reported.
The article in question, published last April, cited a WikiLeaks-released diplomatic cable that in turn cited an undisclosed General Electric executive who claimed that Yakunin "has made sizable cash payments to Putin."
The article said the cable used the word "rumored" when making the claims.
According to Melnikov, the newspaper breached its "obligations to verify facts and authenticity of information from third parties, as well as journalists' duty to provide to a criticized party a chance to respond."
Yakunin has known President Vladimir Putin since the early 1990s. Together with other people who currently occupy high positions in the Russian government, they founded the Ozero dacha community near St. Petersburg in 1996.