Ashot Egiazaryan, a Russian billionaire, was a member the state Duma (lower house of the Russian parliament). Egiazaryan fled Russia in April, claiming that his life and his family’s, were endangered.
On his own website, Egiazaryan alleges that he
was forced to sign over his 25% stake in the Moskva Hotel project in 2009. When he began to fight back, he and his family were threatened and had to leave Russia. Since then Egiazaryan’s opponents have mounted a vicious campaign to discredit him and force him to drop legal action against them.
In April, he filed a lawsuit for libel against Peter Zalmayev.
In his complaint, Egiazaryan claims that Zalmayev, director of the New York-based nonprofit Eurasia Democracy Initiative, is behind a smear campaign that is intended to get Egiazaryan expelled from the United States and sent back to Russia. Zalmayev asserts that he is innocent and that his comments are constitutionally protected.