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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 Reiman’s ministry denied the allegations, adding the investigation into the site began at the ministry’s 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 Reiman’s.

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.

Georgiou’s 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 country’s 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.

Reiman’s ministry has claimed that Mikhail Fridman’s 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 Georgiou’s affidavit. The letter, signed by both Georgiou and Reiman, confirmed payment of the $1.04 million fee into Reiman’s account at Credit Suisse First Boston.

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Friday, Nov. 28


Join table-top game aficionados at the British Book Center’s Board Game Evening. Held every Friday at 5 p.m., aficionados and amateurs alike can come take part in a variety of different games that test one’s intellect and cunning.



Saturday, Nov. 29


Cats, dogs, birds, rodents and reptiles are just some of the things that will walk and crawl at Lenexpo convention center this weekend as part of Zooshow, a two-day exhibition featuring not only man’s best friends but a four-legged fashion show, as well as a food fair that will help pet owners find out more about which kibbles are best for their hungry pets.



Sunday, Nov. 30


Remember the 75th anniversary of the beginning of the Russo-Finnish war in 1939 during today’s reenactment titled “Winter War: How it Was.” More than 200 people will take part in recreating the opening salvoes of the battle for the north in Kamenka, a small village situated between Vyborg and St. Petersburg, using authentic equipment and vintage vehicles from the era. The faux battle begins at 2 p.m.



Monday, Dec. 1


Serbia filmmaker Emir Kusturica is the featured guest this evening at the Lensovet Palace of Culture the Petrograd Side. Fans of the director will get the chance to watch his movie “Black Cat, White Cat,” as well as ask questions about his award-winning filmography. Tickets for the event, which starts at 7 p.m., start at 2,000 rubles ($42.50).



Tuesday, Dec. 2


Today is the final day of “Takoy Festival,” a three-week program of plays based on the works of Dostoevsky, Remarque and other famed European writers, whose work is transcribed for theatrical performances. Tonight’s festival finale is “Fathers and Sons,” a two-act drama staged by the Novosibirsk Academic Drama Theater based on Turgenev’s classic about familial relations.



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