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Russian Nationalist Leader Found Guilty Of Slandering Moscow Mayor

Vladimir Zhirinovsky

Vladimir Zhirinovsky

MOSCOW -- A Moscow court has ordered the leader of the nationalist Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR) to pay Mayor Yury Luzhkov and the city council some 1 million rubles ($34,000) for making slanderous statements about them on television, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

The court ruled that LDPR leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky must pay Luzhkov and the City Hall for moral damages he caused by accusing the Moscow Mayor's Office of corruption. The money is to be split between Luzhkov and the City Hall.

In November, Luzhkov filed a lawsuit against Zhirinovsky and Russia's State Television and Radio Company (VGTRK), demanding 5 million rubles for statements by Zhirinovsky in October that included referring to city officials as "a Moscow mafia." Those comments were broadcast by VGTRK.

Zhirinovsky, 64, is also facing disciplinary action in the Duma because of comments he made last week against Luzhkov in the lower house of parliament. Among other things, he called for Luzhkov to be fired because of widespread corruption within the Moscow government.