Kazakh mining giant drops libel claim against Financial Times

The decision comes after a separate libel claim brought by ENRC against Mr Burgis and publisher HarperCollins was dismissed on March 2.

14 March 2022

A Kazakh mining giant has dropped a libel claim against the Financial Times and one of its reporters weeks after a High Court judge dismissed a related case.

Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation (ENRC) sued the Financial Times and journalist Tom Burgis over investigations also covered in Mr Burgis’ book Kleptopia: How Dirty Money Is Conquering The World.

However, on Monday, spokespeople for both the FT and ENRC confirmed the libel claim had been withdrawn.

Tom Burgis libel case
Tom Burgis outside of the Royal Courts of Justice (Jess Glass/PA)

The decision comes after a separate libel claim brought by ENRC against Mr Burgis and publisher HarperCollins was dismissed on March 2.

The mining giant had brought the claim over Mr Burgis’ book, first published by HarperCollins in September 2020.

ENRC’s lawyers had argued that parts of two chapters of the book would be understood as claiming that the corporation had three men murdered to protect its business interests, or there was a reasonable ground for suspicion, as well as a further suspected poisoning.

Dismissing the claim, Mr Justice Nicklin said: “Only individuals can carry out acts of murder or poisoning, only individuals can be motivated to do so to protect their business interests.”

Financial Times editor Roula Khalaf said: “I’m pleased to hear of ENRC’s decision to withdraw a claim that was always without merit and had put Tom Burgis under enormous strain.

“The FT and all our reporters, including Tom, will continue to investigate the activities of businesses and individuals, however powerful or wealthy.”

On Monday, an ENRC spokesperson said: “We can confirm we have discontinued proceedings against the Financial Times and Tom Burgis.

“The allegations made were of the most serious nature, causing enormous damage to the company’s reputation.

“Following a preliminary hearing brought by HarperCollins and Mr Burgis, and in light of Mr Justice Nicklin’s finding that the book, Kleptopia, does not contain the allegation of murder against us, we feel somewhat vindicated in having brought these actions having publicly achieved this clarification, which can be used by us to mitigate the damage that has been caused.

“We continue to dispute many allegations contained within the book, including corruption, in the strongest possible terms.”

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