A Moscow court on Monday ordered an opposition leader and a business daily to pay a total of 1 million rubles ($34,000) to Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov in a libel suit.
Luzhkov sued Boris Nemtsov, a former deputy premier who co-chairs the opposition Solidarity movement, over the publication of a leaflet entitled "Luzhkov. Results". In the text, Nemtsov makes several corruption-related allegations against the mayor and his tycoon wife, Yelena Baturina. A large number of copies were distributed in the Moscow metro.
Luzhkov also sued the Kommersant publisher over an interview with Nemtsov published by the Kommersant daily in a September issue. Luzhkov demanded that Nemtsov and Kommersant pay him a total of 5 million rubles ($172,000) in moral damages and retract their statements.
Lawyers for the defense said they intend to challenge the court decision. Nemtsov called the ruling "a disgrace," saying that the 500,000 rubles ($17,000) he has been ordered to pay is a large sum for him.
Nemtsov, who served as deputy premier from 1997 to 1998, is a leading member of Russia's political opposition and in April lost the race for mayor in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi, which will host the 2014 Winter Olympics.
MOSCOW, November 30 (RIA Novosti)