Friday, November 04, 2005

Suing for libel

The Irish Times reports this morning that "[l]awyers for Julia Kushnir plan to issue proceedings against the newspapers". At least this means it will not vanish without a trace, which is what I expected to happen. (Still believe that, to be honest.)

Here's something I missed. Last week the Irish Times had a long article on "the story behind the story". A couple of interesting facts here.
Lawlor and Kushnir arrive shortly before midnight at Moscow's main airport, Sheremetyevo. A Russian developer has supplied a Mercedes and driver, Ruslan Suliamanov, to pick them up.

The big black Mercedes heads south through the clear chill air, then into the Leningradsky Shosse, a wide boulevard leading to the Kremlin. Their destination is a mile short of that, at the five-star Marriott Grand hotel, one of Moscow's smartest and also most secure. President George Bush stayed there recently.

At 12.55am, according to one report, a drunk careens on to the road, forcing the car to swerve. Its side slams into a lamppost, killing Lawlor and the driver instantly. Kushnir, in the back seat, is thrown forward and bangs her head.
First of all, in today's Irish Independent the driver, Ruslan Suliamanov, was "a highly respected CEO of a Russian company". (There's nothing about him on Google - at least using this spelling.) He was also "the husband of a dear friend of mine and while Mr Lawlor was to be dropped off at his hotel I was to stay with Mr Suliamanov in his family home". The Examiner tells us that "Ruslan Suliamanov, the driver of the car, had known Mr Lawlor from earlier business dealings". So, the "Story behind the story" was wrong too. Suliamanov was the man Lawlor was to meet in Moscow and not a driver hired by a developer.

One other curiosity is that the "Story behind the story" tells us that the accident happened around 12:55am, which doesn't tie in too neatly with the published schedule of flights from Prague to Moscow for October 22. The schedule (no longer available online) indicated that the only direct flight they could have been on was one that arrived at 1:05am.