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Article

24 Nov 2022

Author:
OCCRP

OCCRP launches legal defense fund to support staff facing 41 malicious lawsuits for exposing corruption & organised crime

"Battling 41 “SLAPP” Cases, OCCRP Network Launches In-House Legal Defense Fund", 11 November 2022

Journalists and media outlets in OCCRP’s global network are battling a record 41 lawsuits filed by the subjects of their investigations. Given the growing popularity of SLAPP cases, OCCRP is launching the “OCCRP SLAPPs Back” campaign to build an in-house legal defense fund that will help our network mount a vigorous response to these baseless suits...

“The ‘OCCRP SLAPPs Back Fund’ will be used to combat these SLAPP-happy law firms representing crime figures, corrupt government officials, and politically connected businessmen who want to muffle our reporting.” ...

"We have more SLAPP lawsuits than we have reporters”

... Experience shows that journalists usually win frivolous lawsuits in jurisdictions where there is effective rule of law... “The oligarchs and others who sue us want to keep their illicit activities hidden and to keep us quiet, which we can't do because we work in the public interest,” said OCCRP Co-Founder Paul Radu, who battled a two-year SLAPP case in the U.K...