Friday, January 29, 2010

Libel: Le Figaro issues apology to leading Ukranian political leader

The following was released today by Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, counsel to Rinat Akhmetov:

The French daily newspaper Le Figaro today issued a retraction of previously published false allegations regarding Rinat Akhmetov, the Ukrainian businessman and political leader, and apologized to Mr. Akhmetov for the untrue information.

The retraction related to an article that was first published in the newspaper's print and electronic editions on January 18, 2010. In a formal statement that appeared in today's edition, Le Figaro acknowledged that "it has no evidence to support" the claims made about Mr. Akhmetov in the article.

Le Figaro further stated that the newspaper "regrets that these claims were made" and formally apologized to Mr. Akhmetov for any harm that he had suffered.

Speaking from Washington, D.C., Mr. Akhmetov's U.S. lawyer, Mark J. MacDougall, stated, "The editors and publisher of Le Figaro have acted responsibly in issuing a swift apology and correcting the false statements published about Mr. Akhmetov."

MacDougall added, "Mr. Akhmetov values his reputation throughout Europe, and today's action by Le Figaro recognizes that Mr. Akhmetov's good name was put at risk when false accusations were published."

Mr. Akhmetov is the principal shareholder of System Capital Management, one of the largest industrial companies in Ukraine.

Source: Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LL

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