Russian court rejects National Guard chief’s slander lawsuit

January 13, 2019 GMT

MOSCOW (AP) — A court in Moscow has rejected a slander lawsuit the head of Russia’s National Guard brought against an opposition leader who had alleged wide-scale corruption in the guard.

Gen. Viktor Zolotov, a longtime bodyguard for Russian President Vladimir Putin, had sought a retraction and 1 million rubles (about $15,000) from opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

Zolotov also challenged Navalny to a duel on YouTube in September. Navalny responded by reiterating his claims and inviting Zolotov to a televised debate. The general didn’t reply to the offer.

The Lyublinsky district court said on its website the lawsuit had been returned to Zolotov. It did not explain the move, but Russian news agencies said on Sunday that Zolotov had not responded to procedural problems in the court filing.