The former British intelligence agent, Christopher Steel, won a court in the United States against co-owners of Alfa Bank Mikhail Fridman, Peter Aven and Herman Khan. This is written by The Guardian.
The businessmen claimed that Steele and his firm Orbis Intelligence Group had spread false information about them in the so-called dossier on Donald Trump, which became publicly available in early 2017.
On Monday, August 20, a judge in the District of Columbia Anthony Epstein approved Steele's motion to dismiss the case. Epstein did not determine whether the Trump file was "true or false". The judge considered that the case falls under the first amendment to the US Constitution, which protects freedom of speech. He ruled that the billionaires could not prove the key point of the matter: that Steele knew about the unreliability of some information in the dossier and acted "with reckless disregard for her falsity."
Regarding the file, the judge said that it "directly concerns" the issue of public interest - whether there was any Russian interference in the elections in the US in 2016. "Steele's file drew such attention in the US precisely because its content is associated with active public disputes," Epstein's words cite The Guardian.
The Trump file was prepared by Steele from June to October 2016 for the Washington-based Fusion GPS firm. The company was investigating possible connections between Trump and Moscow and hired Steel as a contractor. In one of Stile's 17 reports that formed the basis of the file, it was alleged that Friedman and Aven were in close relationship with President Vladimir Putin and gave him "unofficial advice" on international politics.
The protection of co-owners of Alfa Bank denied the accusation and stated that Stil's statements, spread in the press, were false.
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