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Reiman Goes to Court Against Kompromat.ru

Published: September 2, 2005 (Issue # 1101)


MOSCOW Prosecutors in St. Petersburg have opened a criminal case alleging that the muckraking Kompromat.ru web site published an article that slandered IT and Communications Minister Leonid Reiman.

The article claimed that Reiman took a $1 million fee in 1992 when he was the deputy director of a major St. Petersburg telecoms company for greasing the wheels to help British businessman Anthony Georgiou establish a mobile phone company.

A spokesman for Reimans ministry denied the allegations, adding the investigation into the site began at the ministrys request.

The prosecutor replied to us saying they found that the article contained information that was false, said spokesman Alexander Parshukov.

The kompromat.ru article, published in early July, retold some of the allegations already made in a Carribbean court by Georgiou, who said he was a former business partner of Reimans.

Georgiou claimed in a court affidavit lodged in a British Virgin Islands court last year that Reiman abused his public position to gain interests in the mobile phone industry.

Georgious testimony was given as part of a sprawling legal battle being fought in courts in Switzerland and the British Virgin Islands between Alfa Group and IPOC, a Bermuda-based fund, which Jeffrey Galmond, a Reiman business associate, says he owns.

The two sides are fighting over the rights to a 25.1 percent stake in MegaFon, the countrys No. 3 mobile phone provider, which is partly owned by IPOC. The Bermuda fund holds a 31 percent stake in MegaFon via Telekominvest, the holding company that Reiman helped found.

The court battle has ensnared Reiman in a mass of allegations he abused his position to build up holdings in the telecoms industry, charges he denies.

Reimans ministry has claimed that Mikhail Fridmans Alfa has launched a PR war of false accusations against Reiman in order to win the MegaFon case. The ministry has said it is considering suing several publications that have reported on the trials.

In the July article, Kompromat.ru also published a letter from Georgiou to Reiman that was presented to the British Virgin Islands court as part of Georgious affidavit. The letter, signed by both Georgiou and Reiman, confirmed payment of the $1.04 million fee into Reimans account at Credit Suisse First Boston.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Saturday, Aug. 30


Break out the tweed and channel your inner Englishman during the English Hunt Picnic this afternoon organized by the Bagmut stables from Krasny Bor in the Leningrad Oblast. Equestrian stunts, English archery and classic hunting fashion will all be available to visitors hoping to live like the characters in Downton Abbey if only for a day. Tickets for the event cost 7,900 rubles ($219.40).


Bookworms will have their chance to swap out well-read classics for something new for their bookshelves at Knigovorot, a free book exchange that will be held in the Yusupov Garden on Sadovaya Ulitsa today. Come for the chance to get a new book or take the opportunity to discuss the literary merits of your favorite authors with fellow fans.



Sunday, Aug. 31


The Neva Delta International Blues Festival wraps up this afternoon on Vasilevsky Island with a concert featuring not only some of Russias best blues bands but international stars as well. Admission is free for all three days of the festival, which begins on Aug. 29, and the shows starting at 5 p.m. each day.



Monday, Sept. 1


Today marks the beginning of Lermontov-Fest, a fall festival celebrating the life of one of Russias most remarkable poets who, in a fate eerily similar to Pushkins, was killed in a duel at the age of 26. Organized by the Lermontov Library System, the next several months will see art exhibitions, concerts and public lectures focusing on the Lermontovs short yet prolific career. Check the Lermontov Library Systems website for more details.



Tuesday, Sept. 2


Join expats and practice your Russian during the Russian Clubs weekly meetings every Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. The club is free to participate in although you need to be a registered member of Couchsurfing.



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