The Dzerzhinsky District Court of St. Petersburg collected from the Business News Agency 300 thousand rubles for an article with statements about the criminal past of businessman Ilya Traber, reported RIA Novosti in court. The media were also obliged to publish a refutation of the information contained in the publication. Full text of the judgment published on the defendant’s website.
“The court satisfied the claim for the protection of honor, dignity and business reputation, recognized the disseminated information as untrue and recovered in favor of Traber compensation for moral damage in the amount of 300 thousand rubles,” the court said. The plaintiff insisted on compensation of 5 million rubles.
The court ordered the publication to remove the businessman’s personal data from the article and publish a refutation, indicating that Traber did not have and does not have a criminal career, is not a “gangster”, “raider”, “crime boss”, “the legend of Gangster Petersburg.” In the refutation, it is necessary to write that Traber did not carry out raider seizures, did not engage in “money laundering”, did not participate in criminal showdowns, did not create a “criminal empire”, and all his funds are of legal origin.
Separately, the court asks to indicate that Traber does not have the nicknames “Antiquary” and “Moreman”.
As indicated in the court decision, the media representative objected to the satisfaction of the claim, pointing out that some of the disseminated information was reliable, and some was not defamatory.
Forbes called Traber was one of the most influential businessmen in St. Petersburg, who in the 90s was a major player in the antiques trading market and, together with Dmitry Skigin, controlled the oil export terminal in the city port. At that time, Traber was in active contact with the mayor’s office, in particular with Vladimir Putin, who oversaw the launch of the enterprise.
“Ilya Traber is more important than Putin, because, as far as I know, in the 90s, Putin worked for him when he was at the St. Petersburg mayor’s office,” stated Traber’s lawyer, as The Insider wrote.
In the 2000s, Traber received Greek citizenship and left Russia. In 2008, he became one of the defendants in the “Russian mafia” case, which was being investigated by Spanish law enforcement agencies. They connected the businessman with the leaders of the Tambov organized criminal group Gennady Petrov and Alexander Malyshev, but in the end Traber was acquitted.
In 2018, Traber achieved the initiation of a libel case (part 5 of Art.128.1 of the Criminal Code) because of the film “Petersburg” TV channel “Rain”. It told about the activities of a businessman in the 1990s and 2000s. Traber himself was named in the film as one of the most influential people of St. Petersburg, “the so-called king of Gangster St. Petersburg” and “the only living authority, whom Vladimir Putin recognized as familiar.”
The then editor-in-chief of the Proekt publication Roman Badanin and journalist Maria Zholobova took part in the preparation of the film. At the end of June 2021, they had carried out searches in this case, the lawyers said.