Russian tycoon Deripaska sues ex-banker Tinkov for defamation

Russian aluminum tycoon Oleg Deripaska has sued bank founder Oleg Tinkov, seeking 2 billion rubles ($32.5 million) in damages for alleged defamation, media reported on Monday.

Deripaska and Tinkov are among the few influential Russian business owners who have spoken candidly about the negative impacts of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Deripaska has filed civil lawsuits against Tinkov – who is battling leukemia and lives outside Russia – and Instagram’s parent company Meta for calling Deripaska a ‘thief’ by the ex-banker, according to the site. RBC Information Web.

“We demand that Oleg Yuryevich Tinkov remove the post, as well as compensation for moral and reputational damage in the amount of 2 billion rubles,” Deripaska’s lawyer Alexei Melnikov told RBC.

In April, Tinkov dismissed Deripaska as “an oligarch and a thief” in comments under his own anti-war post on Instagram, which Russian authorities banned as “extremist” after launching the invasion of Ukraine. Tinkov echoed that sentiment in a May interview with popular YouTuber Yury Dud.

“Tinkov’s audience is very large, which means that the information has been widely disseminated,” Melnikov said. “Oleg Vladimirovich [Deripaska] considers it important to protect against attacks and the dissemination of false information that has nothing to do with freedom of expression.

The attorney added that Meta is listed as a defendant in the lawsuit because his rights could be affected if the court decides to remove Tinkov’s post.

The court database lists May 30 as the date the Ust-Labinsky District Court in Deripaska’s home region of Krasnodar registered his trial.

The first hearing is scheduled for Tuesday.

Tinkov sold his remaining stake in the group that owns Tinkoff Bank in April, saying the Kremlin forced him to do so after condemning the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Deripaska was slapped with asset freezes and travel bans by the European Union, the United Kingdom and Australia in response to Russia’s invasion.

The United States previously imposed sanctions on Deripaska and other tycoons and officials in 2018 for possible Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, which Deripaska and the Kremlin deny.

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