Support The Moscow Times!

Moscow Court Dismisses Navalny's Claim Against Browder Film

A Moscow court has rejected Russian oppositioner Alexei Navalny's lawsuit against state-owned media company VGTRK over a film linking him to British-American investor William Browder, the RBC news website reported Tuesday.

The Browder Effect” film premiered on the Rossiya 1 television channel on April 13. It claims that Navalny and Browder were part of a joint British-American intelligence operation in Russia from 2007.

According to the film, the CIA gave Navalny the codename “freedom,” and he received money as a paid agent of Browder, the head of the Moscow-based Hermitage Capital investment advisory firm.

The film shows Browder telling Navalny via Skype to undermine Russian constitutional order, and shows what it claims to be CIA reports of their conversations. Navalny claims to never have used the Skype name shown, and implied the falsification of the CIA reports by the filmmakers.

Navalny and Browder have only ever exchanged a few emails, in which they discussed Browder's experience in court against Russian gas giant Gazprom, according to Navalny's press secretary Kira Yarmish.

The film also implicates Navalny in the death of Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky in prison and says the politician received $300,000 to support the ensuing Magnitsky list, which restricted travel of Russians involved in the case to the United States.

In court, Navalny's representatives argued that false information regarding conversations and exchanges of money was presented nine times in the film.

The VGTRK filmmakers were not present, but their representatives claimed that the lawsuit should be dismissed, as the nine instances do not contain specific information about Navalny, and some do not even mention his name.

According to the European Court of Human Rights, people involved in politics are compliant to being subjects of public debate and criticism, and the boundaries for criticism are much wider for a public figure than the ordinary person,” VGTRK's lawyers said, RBC reported.  

Following the dismissal of the case, Navalny’s representatives announced his intention to appeal against the decision.

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

Once
Monthly
Annual
Continue
paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more