High Court rules that Russian police officer linked to murder of anti-corruption activist has no reputation to defend in UK

A High Court judge has thrown out a libel case involving a former Moscow police officer as “an abuse of process”, in what has been described as one of the worst cases of libel tourism to ever come before the courts.

Former Moscow police officer Lieutenant Colonel Pavel Karpov attempted to sue British businessman William Browder.

Browder claimed on his own campaigning website that  Karpov was behind a massive tax fraud in Russia and linked to the death of anti corruption activist Sergei Magnitksy, who was also his lawyer.

Magnitsky was tortured and murdered while in police custody in November 2009.

Mr Justice Simon yesterday threw out the case because he said the court had no jurisdiction in the matter because Karpov could not establish a reputation in Britain. 

The Defamation Act, which is due to be activated before the end of the year, is expected to tackle libel tourism by saying that  that a libel action against a person who does not live in Europe can only be heard in London if the claimant can show that England is the most appropriate place.

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