Moscow Court Overturns Fine for Independent Russian News Outlet RBC

A Moscow court has overturned the decision to fine independent Russian news outlet RBC for libelling oligarch and Putin ally Igor Sechin.

An RBC report published in April 2016 claimed that Sechin, the CEO of Russian oil giant Rosneft, had asked Russian President Vladimir Putin to block the company’s minority stakeholder from buying more shares.

Rosneft filed a libel claim against RBC in September of the same year, demanding 3.1 billion rubles ($49.2 million) in damages. A judge then reduced Rosneft’s claim to a more manageable sum of 390,000 rubles ($6,375) in December.

The latest ruling will cancel the fine in its entirety, but will still requires offending article to be deleted from RBC’s website. The news outlet will also need to publicly apologize.

Igor Sechin is infamous for filing various lawsuits against Russian media outlets. In the past few months he has successfully sued other independent Russian publications including Novaya Gazeta and Vedomosti, claiming that they had violated his privacy.