Pro-Kremlin businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin, also known as "Putin's chef", is filing honor, dignity and business reputation claims against Alexei Navalny, his associates and journalist Maksim Shevchenko, lawyers of the Prigozhin company Concord said.
"The reason for the appeals was the publication of offensive statements against the businessman, containing slanderous information. The purpose of the proceedings within the stated claims is to compel these citizens to respect other people's rights and legitimate interests," the press service of Prigozhin said.
What information about himself the restaurateur and geopolitician considered offensive and untrue, Concorde did not specify.
It is also not clear whether Prigozhin intends to seek monetary compensation from the plaintiffs. In the database of the Moscow City Court, no new statements of claim from Prigozhin against the mentioned citizens have yet been found.
Lyubov Sobol and the head of the legal department of FBK Vyacheslav Gimadi told Open Media that they knew nothing about Prigozhin's claims. Leonid Volkov refused to comment on any of Prigozhin's actions, because "he does not exist."
Maxim Shevchenko said that he connects the prepared lawsuit with comments regarding Prigozhin's connection with the death of Russians in the CAR.
Recall that over the past two years, companies associated with Yevgeny Prigozhin have repeatedly filed lawsuits against the Anti-Corruption Foundation, its head Alexei Navalny and lawyer of the Foundation Lyubov Sobol. The FBK considers this to be revenge for investigating Prigozhin's activities - in particular, the fund accused the business structure of "Putin's chef" of supplying low-quality food to Moscow kindergartens and schools and the outbreak of dysentery among children and adolescents caused by this.
Despite the fact that one of the courts found Prigozhin's company guilty and partially satisfied the monetary claims of the parents of the victims, in October last year the Moscow Arbitration Court recovered from Navalny, Sobol and the Anti-Corruption Fund 29,200,000 rubles each. The arbitral tribunal ruled that they had published information discrediting the Moskovsky shkolnik company, as a result of which one of the clients terminated the contract with it. After that, the bank accounts of FBK, Navalny and Sobol were arrested.
At the end of July, Navalny announced that he would liquidate FBK because of this court decision. In response, Prigozhin transferred 1 million rubles to the FBK account "as a donation." Navalny later reported that FBK had returned the money to Prigozhin.
Later, Prigozhin bought out the legal debt from his company so that the opposition would owe him personally. The businessman explained this by his desire to "undress and strip" Navalny and his associates with his own hand.
Alexey Navalny is now undergoing treatment in Germany. On the morning of August 20, he became ill during the flight from Tomsk to Moscow. The plane made an emergency landing in Omsk, and the victim was taken to the toxic reanimation department. On August 22, the oppositionist was taken to a Berlin clinic. German experts announced the discovery of a substance from the Novichok group in his body. The Russian side carefully rejects the presence of traces of poisons.