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Estonian businessman Kofkin triumphs against journalists in book lawsuit about Ansip

BC, Tallinn, 09.05.2016.Print version
The businessman Alexander Kofkin has achieved a final victory in a lawsuit against the authors and the publisher of a book about former Estonian Prime Minister Andrus Ansip after the Supreme Court on Monday turned down the defendants' appeal, informs LETA/BNS.

The lower-level Harju county court's ruling in the defamation lawsuit had been previously upheld by the second-tier Tallinn circuit court at the end of January. Kofkin's attorney Aivar Pilv then said that the court fully agreed with both the arguments underlying Kofkin's claim and the conclusions of the county court's ruling.


All court instances agreed that the authors of the book lacked evidence to support the allegations and value judgments contained in the book.


The Harju county court in May 2015 ordered the defendants, journalists Kadri Paas and Katariina Krjutskova as well as the publisher Vaba Kiri OU, to pay the plaintiff 5,000 euros as compensation for non-material damage and to cover the costs of the proceedings.


The defendants were also ordered to publish announcements in Postimees, Eesti Paevaleht, Eesti Ekspress, Ohtuleht and Delfi and on the Facebook page of the book titled "Andrus Ansip – halva iseloomuga tark poiss" ("Andrus Ansip – Clever Boy with a Bad Character")  that incorrect information about Kofkin has been published in the book. The court ordered the contested information to be removed from the publicly available copies of the book as well as its e-book version.


Kofkin filed the lawsuit over allegations made in the chapter of the book titled "The Motley Past of Ansip's Employer" dealing with the Estonian-Swiss joint venture Estkompexim set up at the end of the 1980s and possible links of the company and its owner with the KGB. Kofkin's demand was for 35,000 euros to be paid by the authors and the publisher in damages, for an apology to be made and the contested sentences to be deleted from the e-book. The authors have denied any guilt.

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