Boyev Drops Libel Suit Against Solovyov

Former Kremlin official Valery Boyev has dropped his libel suit against radio news program host Vladimir Solovyov, Kommersant reported Friday.

Solovyov, along with senior federal judge Yelena Valyavina, had accused Boyev, an adviser on personnel appointments in the administration of former President Vladimir Putin, of pressuring judges while in office.

Solovyov's lawyer, Shota Gorgadze, said Boyev "did not want to hear the [defense] witnesses testimony," Kommersant reported.

"I suppose they would have delivered testimony similar to that of Valyavina," Gorgadze was quoted as saying.

Valyavina, first deputy chairwoman of the Supreme Arbitration Court, testified in the case on May 12. She said Boyev had threatened to derail her career in 2005 if she did not reverse a ruling handed down against the Federal Property Fund.

Three more defense witnesses were to testify Monday.

The reason for Boyev's decision is to be announced in the courtroom Monday, Kommersant said.

Boyev filed the suit in April after Solovyov said on his radio program that there were "no independent courts in Russia," but there were "courts dependent on Boyev."

Legal experts say that Russian judges are often subjected to pressure by top officials. Last week, President Dmitry Medvedev called for reforms aimed at increasing the independence of judges.