Russian oligarch Deripaska drops libel suit against Associated Press

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Oleg Deripaska’s fit alleged that an AP history published two months previous falsely implied that Deripaska was paying Paul Manafort for job targeted at advancing the goals of the Russian federal government and Russian president Vladimir Putin. | Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP Picture Russian oligarch Deripaska drops libel fit against Associated Press

A good Russian oligarch whose organization dealings have come under scrutiny by investigators probing Russian impact in the 2016 presidential election has dropped a libel fit against the Associated Press.

Lawyers for aluminum magnate Oleg Deripaska, who all worked closely with indicted past Trump plan chairman Paul Manafort several years ago, joined with the news service Tuesday in a joint courtroom filing dismissing appeals of a judge’s decision in October tossing out the defamation lawsuit.

Deripaska’s suit, filed in May, alleged that an AP history published two months earlier falsely implied that Deripaska was paying Manafort for job targeted at advancing the goals of the Russian federal government and Russian president Vladimir Putin.

The fit also said this article created the misconception that Deripaska’s dealings with Manafort were intertwined with the Trump campaign, even though both men ended their interact by 2009.

U.S. District Courtroom Judge Ellen Huvelle dismissed the lawsuit, finding that the Russian businessman was “a restricted purpose public body” under U.S. libel rules. That determination meant Deripaska needed to plausibly assert that the AP knew its history was false at the time it posted it, something the judge found the complaint in the case failed to lay out.

Both sides appealed, with the AP objecting to a ruling from Huvelle that denied the news outlet the right to recuperate its attorneys charges under a D.C. law targeted at discouraging lawsuits designed to mute public debate.

The notice filed with the D.C. Circuit Tuesday dropping the appeals provided no explanation for the decision. There was also no indication of whether hardly any money changed hands.

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AP spokeswoman Lauren Easton welcomed the production, but shed little mild on why the litigation went away.

“The Associated Press is pleased that the appeal provides been dismissed. As we have said, we stand by our reporting and we will continue steadily to pursue important tales of public fascination,” Easton said.

Lawyers for Deripaska, Jonathan Schiller and Jonathan Sherman of law firm Boies Schiller, did not respond to requests for comment. A Moscow-based spokeswoman for Deripaska did not respond to a contact seeking comment.

Since the suit was filed, several developments could have made the litigation significantly less attractive for the Russian oligarch.

In September, the Washington Content reported that while Manafort was managing the Trump campaign he urged an associate to set up a briefing for Deripaska, in what appeared to be a bid to accumulate money Manafort believed he was owed by the wealthy Russian. It’s unclear if the offer ever before reached Deripaska.

In October, Manafort and business partner Rick Gates were indicted on charges of money laundering and failing to register as lobbyists for Ukraine. The indictment acquired by Exceptional Counsel Robert Mueller statements Manafort laundered and hid tens of thousands in salary from their overseas work through a number of offshore corporations. Deripaska had not been charged in the case.

Manafort and Gates pleaded not guilty to the expenses. No trial day has been set.

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