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Russian businessman loses High Court libel claim against former MI6 officer

  • October 30, 2020

Mr Gubarev and his company Webzilla took legal action against Mr Steele and Orbis Business Intelligence, a corporate intelligence company co-founded by Mr Steele, after the dossier was published by BuzzFeed in January 2017.

But, in a judgment delivered remotely on Friday, Mr Justice Warby dismissed Mr Gubarev’s claim.

The judge said that references to Mr Gubarev in the Steele dossier were “defamatory of Mr Gubarev at common law, and its publication in this jurisdiction and the EU caused serious harm to his reputation”.

However, Mr Justice Warby added: “He would have been entitled to substantial damages, if he had proved that the defendants are responsible in law for the publication complained of.

“But he has failed to prove that.

“So, Mr Gubarev’s claim must be dismissed.”

The judge said Webzilla’s claim against Mr Steele and Orbis “must also be dismissed for the same reason”.

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