Oligarch challenges court ruling
Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska today challenged a court ruling that a £2 billion-plus lawsuit launched against him by a former friend should be tried in England rather than Russia.
A year ago, a High Court judge in London held that the claimant, Michael Cherney, was entitled to a hearing in England - to ensure he received a fair trial and to protect him from the risk of "assassination or arrest on trumped-up charges".
Today, Mr Deripaska's lawyers argued in the Court of Appeal that the case should be heard in Russia and that the earlier jurisdictional judgment was wrong as it effectively amounted to an allegation that the Russian Federation was unable to exercise its sovereignty by administering justice.
In his pending lawsuit, Mr Cherney, resident in Israel, is claiming a 20 per cent share in Mr Deripaska's aluminium company, Rusal, on the basis of their former "effective partnership" and joint shareholding.
His claim is based on a pact said to have been agreed at a London hotel in March 2001 against a background in which their company, Sibal, was to be merged with another aluminium group controlled by Roman Abramovich and Boris Berezovsky, with the post-merger group to be known as Rusal.
Mr Cherney wants the court to declare that Mr Deripaska, said to be the richest man in Russia, holds 20 per cent of the shares in Rusal "on trust for Mr Cherney and to his order", and to direct an inquiry into what has happened to any dividends or other monies taken from Rusal by Mr Deripaska.
Mr Deripaska denies he was ever Mr Cherney's partner. He alleges that Mr Cherney was engaged in a protection racket and that £130 million was paid to Mr Cherney to "buy him off". No other money is due, he insists.
Today, Ali Malek QC, for Mr Deripaska, told Lords Justices Waller and Moore-Bick and Sir John Chadwick that the lawsuit had "absolutely nothing to do with this country".
The governing law of the disputed contract was Russian law, large parts of it were in the Russian language and the events leading up to it all took place in Russia.
The High Court judge, Mr Justice Christopher Clarke, had no grounds for finding that Mr Cherney might be under threat in Russia.
There was no evidence that he was a political opponent of the current regime in Moscow or that he was regarded as an exile and therefore persona non grata.
In any event, there was no question of the Russian state exercising improper influence over a litigant for political reasons.
"There is no evidence that Mr Deripaska has ever received support from the Russian government that involves improper government interference, whether in the legal system or in any other aspects of his companies' business dealings," Mr Malek said.
Any suggestion that Mr Deripaska's influence extended to the Russian courts, and the implied improper behaviour of the government and judiciary, was "completely unjustified and unwarranted".
Mr Deripaska had been treated like any other litigant - his companies had in fact lost 16 recent cases.
"It isn't true that oligarchs always win in the Russian courts," Mr Malek said.
Rap music mogul accused of running two men over in his truck
First full-length look is finally here
The party's potential nominations read like a high school race for student body president
- 2 The awkward moment Sarah Palin raised $25,000 for Hillary Clinton's election campaign
- 3 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 4 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
- 5 Baldness could soon be treated using stem cells, scientists hope
Woman falls to her death as she celebrates marriage proposal at the edge of Ibiza cliff
Mia Khalifa: Pornhub star claims Drake sent her 'cringeworthy' naked photos on Instagram
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
The awkward moment Sarah Palin raised $25,000 for Hillary Clinton's election campaign
Ball pool for adults opens in London
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: My client is a two form entry primary schoo...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen for an Engineering M...
£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A skilled .NET developer with e...
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT support company are cur...