High Court in London says Russia's DIA may sell assets of ex-Russian senator Pugachev
MOSCOW, January 31 (RAPSI) – The High Court of Justice in London ruled that trust assets owned by ex-Russian senator Sergey Pugachev may be sold by Russia’s Deposit Insurance Agency (DIA), according to the agency’s statement published on Wednesday.
The ruling says that DIA is entitled to invest the proceeds for replenishment of the bank’s bankruptcy estate in the interests of its creditors. Besides, the court ruled to register DIA’s claims as to two valuable properties in London.
The court also extended the validity of arrest warrant issued with regard to Pugachev for two next years.
Proceedings over trust assets have been initiated in London’s court by the Deposit Insurance Agency in the capacity of the bankruptcy supervisor of Mezhprombank formerly owned by Pugachev. DIA claimed that Pugachev used these trusts to conceal his property.
On April 30, 2015, the Moscow Commercial Court ruled in favor of the Deposit Insurance Agency (DIA) in a lawsuit filed to declare Pugachev and other Mezhprombank executives guilty of knowingly bankrupting the bank, primarily through the transfer of liquid assets. The court decided to debit 75.6 billion rubles ($1.3 billion) from former managers of the bank.
The Moscow Commercial Court in late October of 2017 granted DIA the right to forcibly collect 75.6 billion rubles from former Mezhprombank staff, including 68.5 billion rubles from Pugachev and Marina Illarionova, the last CEO of Mezhprombank, and 7.16 billion rubles from two former chief executives, Alexander Didenko and Alexey Zlobin.
In 2014, DIA filed a lawsuit with a UK court to collect the assets which Pugachev allegedly embezzled from Mezhprombank. In July 2014, London’s High Court granted an injunction to seize $2 billion worth of Pugachev’s assets in various countries. Pugachev appealed the decision, but in December 2014 London’s High Court refused to release his assets.
In September 2015, Pugachev filed a lawsuit against Russia within Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in The Hague demanding $12 billion. The plaintiff said that the lawsuit is filed because of the alleged violations of obligations under bilateral investment contract with France by Russia. According to the ex-senator, from 2009, he has lost some of his assets without receiving compensation for them. Such assets include “Middle Trading Rows" on the Red Square in Moscow as well as the Yenisei Industrial Company.
The Moscow Commercial Court declared Mezhprombank bankrupt in November 2010 after the bank defaulted and received a 40 billion rubles ($710 million at the current rate) bailout from Russia’s Central Bank. DIA was appointed as the liquidator of Mezhprombank assets.
Investigation into the bankruptcy was launched in January 2011 on suspicion of illegal operations in the process of filing for bankruptcy and premeditated bankruptcy.
Pugachev was charged with embezzlement and arrested in absentia. In November 2014, he was put on the international wanted list. In January 2015, Russia sent a request for extradition to the UK.