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Not a leg to stand on - Schillings confirm they won't sue Craig Murray In a tacit admission of the validity of his claims, Schillings, the lawyers for Alisher Usmanov have stated that they will not be taking legal action against former-ambassador Craig Murray. This is despite their heavy-handed, and frankly inept, attempts to close down discussions on the internet about Murray's claims.

In a futher blow to Schillings, the mainstream media is now starting to catch up with the blogs - an excerpt from the Guardian is posted below.
"Controversy over Usmanov's record has surfaced since he paid Arsenal's former vice-chairman David Dein £75m for a 14.5% stake last month, then rapidly increased his shareholding to 21%. In 1980 he was convicted of offences reported to include fraud, corruption and theft of state property and served six years in prison, but after the collapse of the Soviet Union he insisted the charges had been politically motivated and that he had since been formally pardoned by the Russian government. That version of events has been contested by Craig Murray, the British ambassador in Uzbekistan from 2002 to 2004.

Murray spoke out then about alleged corruption and state-sponsored brutality and he remains a trenchant critic of the former Soviet republic. After the purchase of Dein's stake he drew attention to Usmanov's convictions on his blog and published further allegations, which Usmanov's lawyers, Schillings, said were defamatory and insisted be taken down by the internet server Fasthosts. Murray's whole blog has now been removed.

Laura Tyler, of Schillings, said they did not intend to sue Murray directly because they did not want to give him a platform to express his views. Murray says he stands by the allegations, although he has no documentary evidence. "I was the ambassador in Uzbekistan. Usmanov is the country's most prominent businessman and it was my job to know about him."

Update: Parliamentary privilege appears to open the door for the mainstream media as Craig Murray allegations are Repeated By Tom WiseMEP

Atlantic Free Press
by ghandi (expatforums@gmail.com) on Wed Sep 26th, 2007 at 11:46:54 AM EST

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