Novaya Gazeta - Controversies

Controversies

In 2004 the newspaper printed seven articles by columnist Georgy Rozhnov, which accused Sergey Kiriyenko of embezzling US$4.8 billion of International Monetary Fund funds in 1998 when he was Prime Minister of Russia. The newspaper based the accusations on a letter allegedly written to Colin Powell and signed by US Congressmen Philip Crane, Mike Pence, Charlie Norwood, Dan Burton and Henry Bonilla and posted on the website of the American Defense Council. The newspaper went on to claim that Kiriyenko had used some of the embezzled funds to purchase real estate in the United States. It was later revealed that the letter was a prank concocted by The eXile. In response, Kiriyenko sued Novaya Gazeta and Rozhnov for libel, and in passing judgement in favour of Kiriyenko the court ordered Novaya Gazeta to retract all publications relating to the accusations, and noted "Novaya gazeta’s content on the missing IMF funds include a great deal of unproven information" and also went on to say that the newspaper "is obliged to publish only officially proven information linking Mr Kiriyenko with embezzlement."

On 26 November 2001, Novaya Gazeta published an article by Oleg Lurie stating that the management of the International Industrial Bank headed by Sergey Pugachyov had been involved in money laundering in the Bank of New York. Pugachyov's bank brought a libel suit against the newspaper citing financial losses, as a number of its customers had allegedly changed the terms of their accounts in a loss-making way because of the publication. On 28 February 2002, the bank won the case in Moscow's Basmanny municipal court and was awarded 15 million rubles (about $500,000) in lost revenue, an unprecedented sum for Russian newspapers that might undermine the very existence of Novaya Gazeta, especially as on February 22 Novaya Gazeta had been ordered by the same Basmanny court to pay about $1 million for a corruption allegation against the Krasnodar Krai's top judge. In April the decision on the International Industrial Bank case was reconfirmed by a court. However, in an article of 27 May 2002, Yulia Latynina, a Novaya Gazeta journalist, revealed that the bank's three customers named in the lawsuit were its subsidiaries or otherwise controlled by its board of directors, and claimed that Novaya Gazeta had requested to open a criminal fraud investigation into the activities of the bank. As a result, in June 2002 the International Industrial Bank renounced its claim to the compensation.

On January 26, 2010, the paper's web site was subjected to a denial of service attack and effectively taken offline. As of February 1, 2010, the site was still inaccessible. At the height of the attack the server was receiving 1.5 million connections per second. The newspaper maintained its online presence by publishing articles on its LiveJournal page. On April 7, 2011, the web site was targeted again with the same botnet that appears to be used in a large scale attack on LiveJournal that hosts many opposition blogs.

Read more about this topic:  Novaya Gazeta

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