Monaco authorities charge Russian billionaire Rybolovlev with corruption

The Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev who was detained on November 6 in Monaco was charged with fraud in the case related to known Swiss art dealer Yves Bouvier, reported the French newspaper Nice-Matin.

The newspaper did not report what specific charges were laid against the owner of the Monaco football club AS Monaco, however it notes that he was charged in the case of corruption and "influence peddling". Apart from Rybolovlev, authorities also charged the billionaire’s lawyer, Tetiana Bersheda, and Christine and Antoine Narmino, the wife and son of former Minister of Justice of Monaco Philippe Narmino.

Rybolovlev, whose wealth is estimated by Forbes at $6.8 billion was detained in Monaco at the request of the Prosecutor’s Office on the morning of November 6. He was interrogated with other suspects and then released on November 7 under judicial supervision that includes restrictions on movement and the obligation to regularly report to the police.

As reported by Monaco-Matin newspaper, judicial bodies also detained nearly every former top official in the Principality’s judicial system. These people remain in custody in Monaco and Nice. The former Minister of Justice of Monaco, Narmino resigned in autumn 2017 after revelations that he could influence the course of judicial proceedings between Rybolovlev and Bouvier.

Litigation between the Russian businessman and Yves Bouvier started in 2015. Rybolovlev accused the art-dealer of driving up prices for thirty-seven paintings, including those made by Picasso, Modigliani, Rothko and Monet. The Russian businessman claimed that it allowed the Swiss to get an extra billion dollars.

In October, Rybolovlev opened a new judicial front in the conflict with Bouvier, accusing the auction house Sotheby's of abetting Bouvier in pulling “the largest act of fraud in the history” with works of art at his expense.

  Rybolovlev, Monaco, France, Europe, Russia

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