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Russian court slashes libel payout sought by oil giant Rosneft
December 12, 2016 / 1:48 PM / 8 months ago

Russian court slashes libel payout sought by oil giant Rosneft

MOSCOW, Dec 12 (Reuters) - A Moscow court on Monday rejected a demand from oil giant Rosneft that Russia's RBC media group should pay it a fine in excess of 3.2 billion roubles ($52 million) for defamation, with the judge ordering a payout of 400,000 roubles instead.

Rosneft sued RBC for an article saying that Igor Sechin, the company's CEO and a long-time Kremlin ally, was trying to prevent private Rosneft shareholders from obtaining a blocking stake in the company. Rosneft said the article was untrue.

Moscow arbitration court judge Ubusha Boldunov, reading out his verdict, said that RBC should remove the disputed article from its website, publish a refutation and pay the damages to the oil company.

"We listened to the decision with a mixed feeling of joy and sorrow," said RBC's lawyer, Alexei Melnikov. "We will appeal it."

Under a deal announced last week, a 19.5 percent stake in Rosneft is being sold to the Qatar Investment Authority and commodities trader Glencore for 10.5 billion euros ($11.13 billion).

$1 = 61.0947 roubles $1 = 0.9436 euros Reporting by Svetlana Reiter; writing by Maria Tsvetkova; Editing by Christian Lowe

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