Roman Abramovich sues over book alleging he bought Chelsea FC on Putin’s orders

‘Putin’s People’ contains ‘a number of false and defamatory claims’, says the Russian businessman


LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 19: Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is seen on the stand during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Sunderland at Stamford Bridge on December 19, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has filed a defamation suit against the publisher and author of “Putin’s People”, which charts the Russian president’s rise to power. 
HarperCollins and the volume’s author, Reuters correspondent Catherine Belton, were served with legal proceedings over what Mr Abramovich says are a “number of false and defamatory claims” about him.
The book published last year reports an allegation by Sergei Pugachev, a former aide to Vladimir Putin, that Mr Abramovich bought the club in 2003 on Vladimir Putin’s orders.
A law firm representing the Russian businessman said the book “falsely alleges that our client has acted corruptly, and makes false claims about our client’s purchase, and the activities, of Chelsea Football Club. Such claims are totally unacceptable and are without foundation.”
The publisher said that it and Ms Belton will “robustly defend the claim and the right to report on matters of considerable public interest.”
It also defended the “authoritative, important and conscientiously sourced work on contemporary Russia that was much praised on publication by experts in the field.”

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