March 28 2019

President Petro Poroshenko wins libel action against the BBC

We are pleased to announce that the President of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, has won his libel action against the BBC. The BBC has admitted liability in respect of the report that it broadcast as an “exclusive report” on the News at Ten, and published on its website, on 23 May 2018.

That report alleged that in 2017 the President had procured or authorised a corrupt payment of $400,000 to be made to Michael Cohen, the personal lawyer of Donald Trump, to extend a brief meeting between himself and President Trump, that had already been agreed, into more substantial talks. These allegations were wholly false and defamatory of President Poroshenko. Allegations of serious corruption are obviously extremely damaging, especially as the President has promoted a number of anti-corruption measures in the Ukraine, including creating an Anti-corruption court. The BBC’s story undermined this hard work and damaged his reputation across the globe.

The BBC has now formally accepted that this allegation was false and completely untrue, and agreed to pay him £50,000 for the damage to his reputation, as well as his legal costs. They also agreed to join in a Statement in Open Court and to make a suitable correction and an apology to Mr Poroshenko on the BBC website. President Poroshenko regrets that it took the BBC so long to accept liability. This victory will hopefully go some way to restoring his good name and reputation.

A copy of the BBC’s report and apology can be found here – 

For further details please contact Moritz Schirmeister on: or 0207 836 9300

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