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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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Monday, Jan. 26


Feeling stressed by the crisis? The Northwest Coach University at 3 Ulitsa Vostsstanaya is hosting a master class by lifecoach Tatiana Almazova. She will shed light on the coaching process, the usefulness of coaching during times of economic downturn and how coaching can improve your career and business prospects. The event starts at 7 p.m. and admission is free. Pre-register by calling 424 3700.



Discover the State Hermitage Museum's collection of English painting at a lecture by art historian Yelizaveta Renne at the Prince Galitzine Library, 46 Nab. Reki Fontanki. The event starts at 6 p.m. and the lecture will be followed by a concert of arias, songs and duets by English composer Henry Purcell. The event is free of charge.



Tuesday, Jan. 27


Celebrate the 71st anniversary of the end of the Siege of Leningrad on Palace Square with a free concert at 7 p.m. Listen to WWII-era songs and the poetry of Olga Bergholz while you peruse outdoor exhibitions dedicated to life during wartime. The event is capped off by a fireworks display at 9 p.m.



Stop by the Lexica School of Foreign Languages at 73 Ligovsky Prospekt from now until Friday for a free English lesson. The classes start at 7 p.m. and cover all levels, from Beginner to Advanced. Registration by telephone on 7641692 and a desire to improve your skills are the only prerequisites.



Wednesday, Jan. 28



Feel like becoming a publishing mogul? Stop by the Freedom anti-cafe at 7 Ulitsa Kazanskaya today at 8 p.m. where Simferopol, Crimea-based founder and chief editor of the Holst online magazine will talk about creating an internet magaine, including what stories to cover, how find an audience and build a team, where to find inspiration and how to stand out from the crowd. Admission is the normal price of the anti-café — 2 rubles per minute, which includes tea and snacks.



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