Alexander Lebedev, owner of The Independent and The Evening Standard, has filed a lawsuit claiming 350m roubles ($11.6m) in damages to his business reputation against the Russian FSB, The Financial Times reports.
The claim follows a masked raid in November last year by Directorate K, a division of the Federal Security Service, on the Nation Reserve Bank which is owned by billionaire Lebedev.
According to the FT, the division of the FSB which is responsible for economic crime has a reputation for corruption. The lawsuit, which was filed in a Moscow court yesterday, is believed to be the first of its kind in Russia directed at the secret service. ‘It’s the first time to my knowledge that anyone has tried this,’said Lebedev.
The Financial Times reports that Lebedev believes the raid was intended to put pressure on his political activities, which include owning the opposition weekly newspaper Novaya Gazeta.