Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich, HarperCollins and journalist Catherine Belton have settled their libel dispute over the book “Putin’s People”.

As previously reported in ZOOM-IN, HarperCollins faced a series of claims by Russian businessmen and companies over its contents, including Abramovich. In a High Court ruling in November, the court found that Belton’s book contained a number of statements which were defamatory of Abramovich.

Agreeing to amend parts of Putin’s People and pay an undisclosed amount to charity, HarperCollins have made an apology, available on their website, which includes the statement, “HarperCollins and the author apologise that [these] aspects of the book were not as clear as they would have liked them to have been and are happy to have now clarified the text.”

One of the contested allegations was that Abramovich bought Chelsea FC on the orders of Vladimir Putin. The amended book will omit several of the previously published statements, will make it clear that such allegations have since been discredited – and that “there is no evidence, beyond the statements of the individuals themselves” relating to the purchase. The new copy will also include a more detailed explanation as to the reasons why Abramovich bought Chelsea FC.

In a statement released to the PA News Agency, Abramovich’s spokesperson said: “We are pleased that HarperCollins and the author have apologised to Mr Abramovich and amended the book, removing several false claims about him.”