The French daily newspaper Le Figaro onJan. 29issued a retraction of a previously published false report regarding Rinat Akhmetov, a Ukrainian businessman and political leader, and apologized to him for publishing untrue information, according to a statement released by the Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP law firm.
The retraction related to an article that was first published in the newspaper's print and electronic
editions on Jan. 18, 2010.
In a formal statement that appeared in the Jan. 28 edition, Le Figaro acknowledged that "it has no evidence to support" the claims made about Akhmetov in the article.
Le Figaro further stated that the newspaper "regrets that these claims were made" and formally apologized to Akhmetov for any harm that he had suffered.
Akhmetov's U.S. lawyer, Mark J. MacDougall, stated that "the editors and publisher of Le Figaro have acted responsibly in issuing a swift apology and correcting the false statements published about Mr. Akhmetov."
"Mr. Akhmetov values his reputation throughout Europe, and today's action by Le Figaro recognizes that Mr. Akhmetov's good name was put at risk when false accusations were published," he added.
Le Figaro earlier published an article describing Akhmetov as "a scandalous Ukrainian oligarch." The article also alleged that Akhmetov, "a bandit in the past, and currently an MP, invests much funds in the development of [Donetsk] region," was a major sponsor for presidential candidate and Regions Party leader Viktor Yanukovych.