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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Putin Song Lawsuit Dismissed

A Moscow court threw out a libel suit brought by a Chelyabinsk lawyer against a German journalist, who portrayed a song he wrote as part of a cult of personality around President Vladimir Putin.

Mikhail Anishchenko, 25, sued Tageszeitung's Moscow correspondent Klaus-Helge Donath and his Berlin-based newspaper over an article that appeared in May last year, claiming it had damaged his reputation.

In the article, Donath quoted words from Anishchenko's "Song About the President," which praises the Russian leader, although it does not mention Putin by name.

Anishchenko said the article implied that Putin had paid him to write the song. He also claimed that Donath had violated the media law.

He asked that Donath be stripped of his accreditation and that Tageszeitung's office in Moscow be shut down.

Judge Valentina Muzyak of the Gagarin district court dismissed the case without explanation after a three-hour hearing. She has three days to issue an explanation.

Donath's lawyer, Genri Reznik, said he was satisfied with the ruling. "The case was based on his having a lack of a sense of humor," he told reporters.

He argued in court that the article was a personal opinion and that the media law did not govern a newspaper printed in Germany.

Donath said he based his article on reports in the Russian press, specifically Novaya Gazeta and Obshchaya Gazeta.

Anishchenko said he was not sure whether he would appeal.