The High Court of London ordered Orbis Business Intelligence Ltd. Christopher Steele, an ex-British intelligence officer (that is what he is called, in particular, by CNN and others - approx. “NI”) to pay £ 18,000 to Peter Aven and Mikhail Fridman. The compsny's website states: "Orbis is a leading corporate intelligence consultancy; We provide senior decision–makers with strategic insight, intelligence and investigative services"
Judge Mark Warby on Wednesday, July 8, ruled that Steele falsely reported in his “Trump Dossier” in 2016 - based on which the American media trumpeted the connection between the US president and Russia and our country's interference in the US election - that the Russian bankers in the early 1990s transferred “large amounts of illicit cash” to Putin when he was a deputy mayor in St. Petersburg”.
The New York Post, citing WSJ, reports that "Steele wrote that the alleged payments were part of a long-standing business relationship between Putin and bankers who continued to provide significant services".
According to Wall Street Journal, judge Warby concluded that Steele had “not taken the reasonable steps” to verify the veracity of these allegations against Russian billionaires, and it was ultimately found to be false.
The third applicant (claimant) is another major shareholder of Alfa Group German Khan, however, compensation by Orbis Business Intelligence Ltd. should pay only to Aven and Fridman.
Thus, the High Court of London partially satisfied the joint claim of Russian bankers Peter Aven, Mikhail Fridman and German Khan for the protection of honor and dignity regarding the activities of Orbis Business Intelligence Ltd. as a result of which the American news online media company BuzzFeed on January 10, 2017 published an article entitled “From these reports it follows that Trump has deep ties with Russia” with the “dossier” of Christopher Steele to the President of the United States.
“In the Trump Dossier", it was written that Fridman and Aven are still informally advising Vladimir Putin on relations with the United States, and that the contact man between the businessmen and the president is Oleg Govorun, the former head of the president’s cross-border cooperation department, who previously worked as deputy department head of Alfa-Bank for relations with government agencies", - Forbes.ru writes.
The contents of the report on Alfa Bank shareholders are complete rubbish, Fredman emphasized in an interview with Forbes.ru. In addition, he said, thet businessmen did not need the help of Govorun, since Aven has been familiar with Putin already since 1992.
“But if you do not file a lawsuit, this is tantamount to the tacit agreement. We are 100% sure of victory, because we are accused of something that we never done”, - Fridman noted.
The New York Post reports that “Steele, who was first hired by a conservative group to conduct research on Trump, but was later paid by the Hillary Clinton campaign headquarters, said that he only shared a dossier with a small group of people and never planned to publish it. what BuzzFeed subsequently did. "
Nevertheless, this “dossier" formed the basis of the investigation of the “Russian collusion” and caused a great resonance.
"President Trump has repeatedly called this dossier "fake" and "falsification" and denied the collusion with Russia as part of his campaign", - the New York Post recalls.
“Ever since these odious accusations were first brought forward in January 2017, my partners and I have been unwavering in their determination to prove that they are not true. Today we finally managed to do this, ”WSJ quoted Mikhail Fridman’s statement regarding the court’s decision.
Forbes.ru recalls that billionaires lost a similar trial in the United States in 2018: the court then decided that the publication of information was allowed by the first amendment to the US Constitution on the freedom of speech. Whether the “dossier” was reliable or not, the judge did not decide. In addition, bankers sued Fusion GPS, which conducted an investigation (the court rejected the claims, but recognized the defamatory nature of the materials), and the media company BuzzFeed itself, and this case has not yet been closed.