Comments made by Senior Associate Evgeny Zverev to an article titled “Mavrodi crosses swords with Internet-providers”

4 March 2011

Sergey Mavrodi, the founder of pyramid scheme “МММ” decided to cross swords with providers who had restricted access to his blog in February.

It will be recalled that the Volgograd Public Prosecutor's Office has earlier sued diverse providers in Volgograd central district court ten times requiring them to block Sergey Mavrodi's website. In the course of action proceedings Volgograd-GSM (operates under the SMARTS trademark) and Sprint Set, without waiting for the court to pronounce judgement, have announced that they shall voluntary carry out requirements of the prosecutor's office (see here for details)

In his turn, Sergey Mavrodi voiced his disagreement to Volgograd-GSM and Sprint Set and demanded to stop violating his constitutional rights, threatening them with lawsuit. He demands from providers to grant users access to the website; no legal action for recovery was brought.

Moreover, the businessman petitioned the Volgograd central district court seeking to join the suit for the remaining proceedings. Representatives of MTS, R-Telekom, Vympelkom (Beeline), and other providers, whom the Volgograd Public Prosecutor's Office wants to compel to block Mavrody’s blog, will face the trial in the near future.

According to Aleksandr Molokhov, the lawyer of Mr. Mavrodi, such restriction is an express violation of article 29 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation which stipulates that “Everyone shall have the right to freely look for, receive, transmit, produce and distribute information by any legal way. The freedom of mass communication shall be guaranteed. Censorship shall be banned.”

Evgeny Zverev, Senior Associate of the law firm S&K Vertical has noted the following: “It seems that there are grounds to satisfy the application filed by the blogger, to let him join the suit as a third party. Upon joining the suit, he can voice his arguments and objections as to demands of public prosecutors. As for legal foundations of demands advanced by public prosecutors who refer to an act of the International Law and by Mavrodi’s lawyer who appeals to the Constitution of the Russian Federation. The more interesting will be conclusions by the court.”

The Volgograd region is the only region of Russia where access to Mavrodi’s blog was partially blocked. The blog contained information on his new project “МММ-2011”. When demanding from providers to block Mavrodi’s website, the Public Prosecutor's Office was guided by the fact that this blog contains not only information about the project, but an offer to become its participant. Furthermore, the system suggested to generate investments bears all the marks of pyramid scheme.

The businessman’s lawyer emphasized that Mavrodi intends to reach the Constitutional court should lower courts refuse to support his claims. We didn’t manage to contact “Volgograd-GSM”, representatives of Sprint Set didn’t respond to request made by Telekomblog.

Aleksey Tsoy

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