The French daily newspaper Le Figaro on Friday issued 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 January 18, 2010, Interfax-Ukraine news agency reports.
In a formal statement that appeared in the January 28 edition, Le Figaro acknowledged that "it has no evidence to support" the claims made about Rinat Akhmetov in the article.
Le Figaro further stated that the newspaper "regrets that these claims were made" and formally apologized to Rinat 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 Rinat Akhmetov as "a scandalous Ukrainian oligarch." The article also alleged that Rinat Akhmetov, "a bandit in the past, and currently an MP, invests much funds in the development of (Donetsk – editor.) Region," was a major sponsor for presidential candidate and leader of the Party of Regions Victor Yanukovych.