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Forbes Russia editor found liable for defamation

[JURIST] A Moscow court on Wednesday found Maksim V. Kashulinsky, publisher of the Russian edition of Forbes magazine, guilty of defamation for saying publicly that the subject of an upcoming piece had filed a lawsuit to make changes to the story, and that Kashulinsky thought the lawsuit was a violation of media freedom and amounted to censorship. The subject of the piece was the Inteko company, which is owned by the wife of the mayor of Moscow, Yelena Baturina [Wikipedia profile], who is worth nearly $1.4 billion. Intenko had sued Forbes Russia to change a caption of a cover story on Baturina that had read, "Yelena Baturina: I am guaranteed protection," which Inteko argued implied that Baturina's husband was the reason for the success of Inteko. Forbes Russia agreed to change the caption to read, "I am guaranteed protection as an investor," but Inteko maintained the suit, seeking damages of 106,500 rubles, about $4,089, representing one ruble for each copy of the magazine sold.

Kashulinsky's predecessor editor-in-chief, Paul Klebnikov, was murdered in 2004 while in the process of investigating corrupt business practices in Russia. The two Chechens accused of murdering him are standing a new trial after the Russia Supreme Court reversed their acquittal [JURIST report] in November. Kashulinsky said after the verdict was read that the decision will not affect editorial policy at Forbes Russia [RIA Novosti report]. The New York Times has more.

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