Elena Baturina, the billionaire wife of former Moscow’s mayor Yuri Luzhkov, has won a two-year battle against British weekly Sunday Times after it wrongfully reported that Baturina had bought a mansion in London.
In two September 2009 articles the newspaper quoted well-informed sources as saying that Baturina had purchased Witanhurst, a large Georgian-style mansion in North London, which can be compared in size only with the Buckingham palace. Sunday Times claimed that an offshore company, registered in British Virgin Islands and linked with Baturina, paid Ј50 million ($79.5 million) for the property.
The newspaper was obliged to pay damages and costs, the size of which is not disclosed. The newspaper has also apologized.
Baturina’s press secretary said that he hoped that the case against Sunday Times would make journalists responsible.
“Two years have passed, but the names of the true owners of the mansion have not been revealed. I do not rule out that their names, which eventually will be made public, are well known”.