DOMINIC Raab has vowed to stop intimidation tactics used by oligarchs to cover up their corruption.
The Deputy PM will strengthen human rights laws which allow Russian billionaires to hide shady business affairs.
Mr Raab said: “Never has there been a better time to stand up to Russian interference in our own freedom of speech.”
He has launched a consultation on replacing the Human Rights Act with a British Bill of Rights, hoping to halt a slide towards privacy by the back door.
The Justice Secretary said: “Russian oligarchs are trying to intimidate the journalists who expose their corrupt practices and their support for Putin.
“Silencing fair criticism is out of the authoritarian playbook and stinks of cowardice.”
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Media groups have made submissions to the Government to make it tougher for powerful individuals to thwart reporting.
Mr Raab plans to tackle abuses of the legal system known as Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation or SLAPPs.
He added: “These Russian cronies use SLAPPs to drag journalists and authors through the courts if they don’t want a story reported about them.
“A package of measures will tackle this head-on — this includes capping the costs for reporters and upping the threshold for these cases which will give judges the power to throw them out of court more easily.
“Those with blood on their hands, or dirty money in their pockets, can’t hide in the shadows any longer.”