In a landmark decision, Monaco’s Court has delivered its verdict in the defamation case brought against NEWS sarl, the company that publishes NEWS.MC and Good Morning Monaco, and its editor Ian Brodie, by Larissa Chertok, the sister of Ukrainian oligarch Igor Kolomoisky.

Ms Chertok, a Swiss resident, had accused the defendants of publishing information about her real estate holdings that violated her privacy. The civil case was heard at Monaco’s Palace of Justice on Friday, January 5, and the verdict was delivered in the same small courtroom in Monaco on Friday, January 12.

Ms Chertok had asked for one euro in damages and up to 25,000 euros in legal costs.

However, the Court ruled to dismiss her complaint and awarded a total of 5,000 euros in legal costs to the defendants, which Ms Chertok must now pay.

Speaking after the court ruling, Ian Brodie said: “Although he believed very strongly that we deserved to win this case, it is a great relief that this is now over. The company will still be out of pocket due to legal costs, and I can’t say I am very happy about that. However, the bigger picture is that we fought back against a woman whose real estate portfolio is estimated to be about 65 million euros and who used Monaco private companies in an apparent attempt to avoid publicity. Today’s decision will cause reverberations across the world, as justice has been done and been seen to be done.

“The Court’s ruling against Mme Chertok is particularly significant in the context of Monaco’s efforts to comply with the recommendations of Moneyval, the Council of Europe’s body that deals with money-laundering. The ruling could not have come at a more opportune time.

“As has been the case with other journalists who have exposed the suspect dealings of Kolomoisky and his family, we have succeeded in exposing wrongdoing when the criminal courts in Ukraine and elsewhere have a lot of catching up to do. Finally, I would like to thank most profoundly all our readers who have been so supportive during the last few weeks, and particularly those who came in person to hear the court case and the verdict.”

At the time of publication, it is not known if Ms Chertok will appeal against the Court’s decision.