How the Palace tried to rescue ‘Duchess Difficult’

Roman Abramovich has claimed victory in the first degree of his Top Court combat with HarperCollins over a ebook which stated he bought Chelsea below orders of Vladimir Putin.

The Russian is suing the publishing giant over “defamatory” allegations in “Putin’s People: How the KGB Took Again Russia and then Grew To Become on the West.”

Catherine Belton quotes exiled oligarch Sergei Pugachev – once dubbed “Putin’s Banker” – as the source, however Abramovich insists the claims are false.

On Wednesday, a spokeswoman for Abramovich said Mrs Justice Tipples had dominated that his case towards HarperCollins Publishers can continue.

“We welcome these days’s judgment which rules that the e book “Putin’s Other People” indeed makes a couple of defamatory allegations about Mr Abramovich, including false allegations in regards to the nature of the purchase of Chelsea Soccer Club,” a spokesperson for Mr Abramovich instructed the Telegraph. 

“we are pleased that the judgment has found that the e-book incorporates a complete of 9 defamatory allegations against Mr Abramovich, in line with the arguments in Mr Abramovich’s preliminary claim. Nowadays’s judgment additionally rules that these allegations are allegations of truth and never an expression of opinion, as argued by way of the defendants.”

Abramovich, 54, launched a defamation case against HarperCollins and former FEET Moscow correspondent Belton ultimate year over claims he purchased the club in 2003 at the order of the Russian president.

Hugh Tomlinson, QC, for Abramovich, in the past instructed a listening to at the High Court that the allegations are completely with out foundation. “The claimant is defined in the e book as Putin’s cashier and the custodian of Kremlin slush budget,” he instructed the court docket. “The e-book alleges Abramovich covertly paid Putin large sums of cash, then purchased Chelsea FC at his request so as to deprave the British elite.”

Mr Tomlinson stated the ebook repeats lazy inaccuracies about Abramovich’s position in various occasions and makes false and damaging statements about him.

Court Docket documents prepared via the defendants described Pugachev as “one among the writer’s significant assets”. Wednesday’s judgment “further underscores the desire for the false and defamatory claims approximately Mr Abramovich to be corrected as quickly as imaginable”, his spokesperson brought.

In her ruling, the judge says the guide states as incontrovertible fact that Chelsea used to be purchased under orders from Putin. “The defendants maintain that the explanations why the claimant has made the fortune from his business empire to be had for the use of President Putin and his regime, bought Chelsea Soccer Club, invested in Rosneft and moved to Big Apple are statements of opinion,” she writes. 

“I disagree. Those purposes are verifiable as info, and that may be how the words may strike the standard affordable reader. The statements complained of are all statements of reality.”

The judge says of the e book’s reference to the Chelsea acquire: “In my view, these passages would not be understood through the normal cheap reader as offering enough reason to doubt that the claimant purchased Chelsea Football Club on President Putin’s orders. 

“First, the person just about the claimant is not an independent supply and, in any event, conceded that it used to be most likely that the claimant had spoken with President Putin prior to agreeing with the deal. 2D, and extra importantly, it is at odds with the defendants’ own case on that means (which I trust) that is that, as a Yeltsin-technology oligarch, he had little selection however to conform with orders from the Kremlin or his wealth may in effect be forfeited to the state.”

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