Moscow is trying to seize assets in Serbia allegedly belonging to the late Russian tycoon Boris Berezovsky, in an apparent attempt to claim some of what may be left of the fortune of Vladimir Putin’s once bitter foe.
Acting on the Russian claim, a Serbian court last month quietly froze the assets of several Serbian-based enterprises allegedly partly owned by Mr Berezovsky and valued at about $270m (£173m).
But an appeals court that made the case public today announced it has annulled the court’s decision and ordered a retrial.
The court ruled that not enough evidence was presented to prove ownership ties between Mr Berezovsky and the Serbian companies.
Once a member of Russian President Boris Yeltsin’s inner circle, Mr Berezovsky fell out with Mr Yeltsin’s successor, Mr Putin, and fled to Britain in the early 2000s to escape fraud charges that he said were politically motivated.
He was found dead in the bathroom of his London home last March after an apparent suicide.
Russian prosecutors insist that all of Mr Berezovsky’s assets from his former business empire must be returned to Russia.
He was convicted in absentia in Russia on charges of embezzlement and fraud.