UK: Russian tycoon sued for libel over talkshow fight

A Russian property developer who was punched during a talkshow, is suing for libel in England after his assailant, fellow Russian tycoon  Alexander Lebedev said he deserved the beating. Sergei Polonsky is suing Lebedev, owner of the Independent and London Evening Standard for defamation following their altercation in September. Lebedev told the BBC that Polonsky had insulted him for 90 minutes. Criminal proceedings for assault have begun in Russia.

Canada: Conrad Black cleared to sue for libel

Conrad Black has been given clearance to sue six former colleagues for libel in Canada. The defendants, who include Hollinger International Inc directors and a vice-president, are based in the US. But the Ontario Superior Court of Justice ruled that the former press baron could sue them for libel in Ontario because he built his reputation there.

US Congress passes libel tourism bill

The US Congress has approved a bill aimed at protecting US writers from libel tourists using English courts to pursue defamation claims. The SPEECH (Securing the Protection of our Enduring and Established Constitutional Heritage) Act now goes to President Obama to be signed into law.