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Tue Jan 24, 2023, 12:09 PM

UK government 'let lawyers bypass sanctions' to help Putin ally sue journalist

Source: The Guardian

UK government ‘let lawyers bypass sanctions’ to help Putin ally sue journalist

Documents seen by Open Democracy show UK firm got approval to engage with Wagner group founder Yevgeny Prigozhin

Shaun Walker
Tue 24 Jan 2023 14.37 GMT
Last modified on Tue 24 Jan 2023 14.53 GMT

British lawyers were given government dispensation to bypass sanctions in order to help Yevgeny Prigozhin, the controversial Russian businessman and Wagner group founder, sue a journalist, according to documents made available to the website Open Democracy.

The documents concern a libel case brought by Prigozhin against Eliot Higgins, the founder of the investigative group Bellingcat, in 2021. The revelations will raise further questions about the abuse of UK libel law by the super-rich.

Discreet Law, a London firm headed by Roger Gherson, asked for, and received, government approval to engage with Prigozhin, Open Democracy reported. The firm reportedly worked in consort with a Russian law firm to draw up a legal plan for the businessman.

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For years, Prigozhin denied all links to the Wagner group of mercenaries which was active in Syria and many African countries, and brought a case against Higgins over claims he was linked to Wagner’s misdeeds.

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Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2023/jan/24/uk-government-let-lawyers-bypass-sanctions-to-help-putin-ally-sue-journalist

No-registration link: https://archive.is/c2Eij

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