Dean Lyrissa Lidsky was interviewed recently about a libel lawsuit against two Kremlin-controlled television stations, “U.S. Libel Case Over Russian Poisoning Take Aim at Kremlin Propaganda.” The plaintiff, Alex Goldfarb, says that the two channels defame him by presenting reports indicating that Goldfarb murdered his close friend, Alexander Litvinenko, by poisoning him 12 years ago. Goldfarb speculates that by airing these stories about him helps the Russian government to also distance itself from the more recent poisoning of a former Russian spy and his daughter.
Dean Lidsky noted that the plaintiff may have brought his suit to combat symbolically the campaign of lies against him. “A suit like this is often about making the public pronouncement, because it is so hard to take it to the point where you a) win, and then b) collect.”
She added, “Even though it seems like it’s about one individual and his problem, this suit seems to have a wider goal or purpose in striking back against the Russian propaganda campaign.”
The article was written for Just Security, a blog on national/international security, human rights and the law at New York University School of Law.