LONDON, October 14, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
Mr Justice Simon in the High Court has today ruled that William Browder, Jamison Firestone and the Hermitage companies have "not come close" to providing sufficient evidence to support the "unjustified" allegations they have made that Pavel Karpov was involved in the torture and murder of Sergei Magnitsky. Mr Karpov is delighted with this ruling.
Mr Karpov issued a libel claim against Mr Browder and Mr Firestone in relation to the very serious allegations of torture, murder and fraud they have made against him. However, his claim will not be continuing in the High Court because Mr Browder and Mr Firestone chose to apply for and obtain an order that Mr Karpov should not be allowed to pursue his claim in England, rather than to defend the truth of their allegations.
The Defendants' application for the case to be removed from the English court without a decision on the merits was surprising to Mr Karpov, given Mr Browder's immediate reaction on learning that Mr Karpov intended to sue him in England was to "welcome" the claim and state that he was "pleased that he is prepared to submit to the jurisdiction" as the English court would "for the first time, be able to provide an impartial and independent investigation" of his role in relation to the death of Mr Magnitsky. Before Mr Justice Simon, Mr Browder and Mr Firestone argued precisely the opposite and instead fought to avoid their allegations being subject to the rigour of such an investigation in the High Court.
Prior to their change of heart, Mr Browder and Mr Firestone spent hundreds of thousands of pounds and engaged no less than four Queen's Counsel. Mr Justice Simon condemned as "inadequate"; "wholly lacking" and "unjustified" the assertions in the Defence that it was true that Mr Karpov has been involved in Mr Magnitsky's torture and death.
Mr Justice Simon made clear that if the claim had continued, the sections of the Defence relating to the allegations that Mr Karpov was involved in the torture and murder of Mr Magnitsky would have been struck out as unsustainable.
SOURCE Office of Pavel Karpov