Sergei Pugachev files $10 billion claim against Russia

Since leaving Russia in 2011, Mr Pugachev alleged that President Putin and his allies are bringing down his business empire by picking off its best assets

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The Independent Online

A banker has filed a claim against the Russian government for $10 billion after his business empire broke into pieces.

Sergei Pugachev filed the claim against the government at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague on Monday, Reuters reports.

Since leaving Russia in 2011, Mr Pugachev, whose wealth at its peak was estimated by Forbes magazine to be $2 billion, alleged that President Putin and his allies are bringing down his business empire by picking off its best assets.

A Russian Government agency has made claims against Pugachev dating back to the financial crisis in 2008. Russian authorities say Pugachev stole over $700 million in Russian bailout money intended to help Mezhprombank through the last financial crisis. Mr Pugachev founded the bank in 1992.

The Russian tycoon vehemently denies the allegations, claiming they are politically motivated.

Mr Pugachev was living in London with his English TV presenter partner Alexandra Tolstoy before fleeing the country in the middle of major court proceedings

The UK High Court had frozen his worldwide assets worth £1.3bn in light of the claims, and Russia demanded his extradition from the country in June.

 

He was concerned for his safety and had  reportedly asked British authorities for protection after finding suspicious devices on his cars, according to the Financial Times.

Pugachev helped Putin during his rise to power in the late 1990s and early 2000s. He is believed to have fled to France where he faces arrest under an Interpol arrest warrant.

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