Spanish Businessman Confronts Journalist, Jose Maria Irujo, For Deliberately Misquoting Him In El Pais; Issues Statement In Defense Of Former Business Partner, Vladimir Kokorev
Mr. Fernando Martinez, a representative of Martinez Hermanos, claims that he has been grossly misquoted in an article published by Jose Maria Irujo in the Spanish newspaper, EL PAIS, in order to create a negative image of Russian businessmen, Vladimir Kokorev, currently residing in Spain.
In his article “The ‘Mysterious’ Vladimir” (El ‘Misterioso’ Vladimir), published by EL PAIS on May 12th 2012, Jose Maria Irujo claims that Vladimir Kokorev, the former owner of the shipping company “Kalunga” never had any employees and had only conducted one business transaction when it purchased three vessels for the Spanish company, Hermanos Martinez, operating in Equatorial Guinea. Jose Maria Irujo has quoted Mr. Fernando Martinez as supposedly saying, “Vladimir Kokorev was not involved in fishing, transportation or fishing business in Equatorial Guinea”.
Mr. Fernando Martinez has since addressed a letter to EL PAIS in which he asserts that Mr. Jose Maria Irujo has misquoted and edited his statements in order to create an unfavorable image of Mr. Kokorev.
The letter further explains how the Spanish company Hermanos Martinez had conducted business with the Kalunga Company and Mr. Vladimir Kokorev for five years, during which time two refrigerator vessels, which had been owned by Kalunga, had regularly delivered batches of frozen fish, weighing 350 -500 tons each, to the Spanish company (Martinez Hermanos operates a chain of supermarkets in Equatorial Guinea). Mr. Martinez also points out that his company had acquired the 3 vessels from the Kalunga Company on a financial lease.
Mr. Fernando Martinez has requested EL PAIS to immediately publish his letter to the newspaper, in an effort to defend the good name and reputation of Mr. Vladimir Kokorev.
On 18th May 2012, Vladimir Kokorev filed a civil claim of defamation against Jose Maria Irujo, possibly opening the door to a criminal libel suit, in relation to previous publications signed by Mr. Irujo. The claim, which has been assigned to the First Instance Court nº 34 of Madrid for examination, is seeking a public acknowledgement from Mr. Irujo that the accusations made by him against Mr. Kokorev in over a dozen articles published in the Spanish daily “El País” over a period of three years, are in fact false and without merit.
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