16 July 2009

Potential for Embarrassment?

A defamation case is in the offing thanks to a recent ruling by Mr Justice Eady, "[i]t is thus in the interests of both sides that this proposed plea of justification, so far as it goes, should be properly addressed."

See, Berezovsky v Russian Television and Radio Broadcasting Co & Anor [2009] EWHC 1733 (QB).

As the person who is making the claim in defamation is a Russian oligarch currently living in the UK thanks to the UK gov. As the defence to the defamation is justification; ie, the person doing the defamation says that he can prove what he says: unless there is an assassination (the defendant is under Scotland Yard protection), the case could be very embarrassing for the British gov.

The embarrassment arising from the defamatory statements such as,

  • the oligarch was "a knowing party to a criminal conspiracy to avoid his extradition from the United Kingdom and to obtain political asylum here by procuring a false confessionis part of a criminal conspiracy" ...

  • the oligarch was "a party to the murder of his friend Mr Alexander Litvinenko in November 2006" ...

  • the oligarch "had been a party to threats which made [the defendant] fear for his life".

Embarrassment not only for the UK gov but for the reporting institutions such as the BBC.

Watch the courts for more news ...

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