Opposition leader appeals to Strasbourg on decision of Moscow mayor libel case

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Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov filed a complaint at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg against a Moscow court decision in favor of Moscow's Mayor Yuri Luzhkov.

Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov filed a complaint at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg against a Moscow court decision in favor of Moscow's Mayor Yuri Luzhkov.

On November 30, 2009, the Moscow Zamoskvoretsky Court partially upheld Luzhkov's claim on protecting his honor, dignity and business reputation against Nemtsov and Kommersant publishing house and ordered 500,000 rubles (some $16,200) to be paid in damages from them.

"Moscow's courts and authorities violated three articles of the European Convention on Human Rights," Nemtsov said on Tuesday. He accused the Moscow courts of violating his rights to a fair trial and providing his own opinion in the article as limiting his rights of free speech.

The court ordered Nemtsov to refute some of the information published in his interview to Kommersant business daily in September, as well as in his brochure.

Luzhkov sued Boris Nemtsov, a former deputy premier who co-chairs the opposition Solidarity movement, over the publication of a leaflet entitled "Luzhkov. Results." A large number of copies were distributed in the Moscow metro. In the text, Nemtsov makes several corruption-related allegations against the mayor and his tycoon wife, Yelena Baturina.

Forbes last week named Baturina one of the three richest women in the world with an estimated wealth of $2.9 billion.

Strasbourg has already requested information on the activities of the Russian courts.

The head of Kommerasnt's legal service, Georgy Ivanov, said the newspaper has also filed a complaint at the Strasbourg Court.

"The number of libel cases from Mr. Luzhkov raises suspicion," Ivanov said.

STRASBOURG, June 22 (RIA Novosti) 

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