Self-exiled Russian tycoon Boris Berezovsky has won his libel case against a Kremlin-owned broadcaster that aired allegations he masterminded the murder of a former KGB agent in London.
The 64-year-old tycoon's victory against All-Russian State Television and Radio Broadcasting is the latest round in the oligarch's battle against the Kremlin, which has long sought to bring him before a Russian court.
Berezovsky sued after the broadcaster, known by its acronym RTR, aired a show in which it was suggested he was behind the poisoning death of renegade Russian agent Alexander Litvinenko, who died in 2006.
In the ruling at London's High Court, Justice David Eady awarded Berezovsky 150,000 pounds (about $225,000) in damages, saying: "There is no evidence before me that Mr. Berezovsky had any part in the murder of Mr. Litvinenko. Nor, for that matter, do I see any basis for reasonable grounds to suspect him of it."
Berezovsky, who was in court for the verdict, said in a statement he was pleased the court "has unequivocally demolished RTR's claims."
RTR, which did not take part in the hearings, called the judgment illegal. Speaking from Moscow, the broadcaster's lawyer Zoya Matviyevskaya said the company "does not recognize the decision of the court" and was ready to take the case to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.