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From Government, Legal and Policy - Class Actions / Lawsuits

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Court Orders Spanish Newspaper to Refute Allegations of Money Laundering for the President of Equatorial Guinea

Tue, 15 May 2012 10:06:53 EST

MOSCOW -- According to RAPSI (the Russian Legal Information Agency) a Moscow City Court has ordered the Spanish newspaper 'El Mundo' to refute its allegations, which they published in 2009, concerning supposed money laundering carried out by a Russian businessman for the President of Equatorial Guinea, Teodoro Obiang Nguema. 

Moscow City's Lublisky Court's verdict favors the claims of the plaintiffs Vladimir and Julia Kokorev in their defamation suit and ordered the publisher 'Infox' - which had copied the article from 'El Mundo', to refute the disseminated information. 'Moscow's Court of Appeal has confirmed its final decision,' informed the Courts' representative. 
The Court has determined that in late September 2009, El Mundo published false materials concerning the alleged suspicion on behalf of the anti-corruption department of Spanish police. In the article, El Mundo accuses both Vladimir and Julia Kokorev, husband and wife, of laundering funds in the amount of 26,483,982 Euro belonging to the government of Equatorial Guinea.

The media source claims that all real estate property acquired in Spain (mainly Madrid, Asturias and the Canary Islands) was paid for with funds from a Santander Bank account belonging to Vladimir Kokorev's company 'Kalunga'.

During the hearings it was established that neither the Spanish nor US authorities had any claims whatsoever against the government of Equatorial Guinea or Vladimir Kokorev's company. Furthermore, it was determined that the funds received by 'Kalunga' in the abovementioned account were attained in full accordance with signed agreements between Kalunga and the Guinean government for the repairs and maintenance of a number of shipping vessels. The court also concluded that the rest of the so-called 'information' published by 'El Mundo' was simply invented by the articles' authors.   

'Among the documents presented in the case was a certificate issued by Spanish police authorities stating that Vladimir Kokorev is not, and was not in the past, accused in any criminal proceedings and is not suspected of any wrongdoings,' – stated our sources from the Court.

The Court has ordered 'Infox' to refute the statements copied from the Spanish press.

'Moreover, the decision of the court orders Unidad Editorial Internet, S.L.U. (the internet publisher of to publish on its web site the refutation of the false information it has published, which damages the reputation of the plaintiffs Vladimir Kokorev and Julia Kokoreva, included in the article 'A Russian couple suspected of money laundering for Teodoro Obiang' ('Investigan a una pareja de rusos por lavar dinero para Teodoro Obiang'),' – stated the Court's representative.

'In the near future we will file further claims against mass media sources that have allowed the publication of false and damaging information concerning the defamation of my clients,' stated Kirill Yashenkov, Kokorev's family attorney.

Source: WebWire

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