Russian commercial law bars Investigative Committee from suing AFK Sistema
MOSCOW, October 13 (RAPSI) – A third-party claim seeking over 189 billion rubles (about $4.7 billion) from AFK Sistema in Bashneft case was filed by Russia's Investigative Committee in violation of Commercial Procedure Code and was dismissed, an explanatory statement issued Monday by the Moscow Commercial Court reads.
The Investigative Committee is not authorised to file lawsuits and motions with the commercial court in defense of public interest, the statement says.
The Investigative Committee requested on Friday that the court allow it to intervene into the case as a third party.
The Prosecutor General's Office along with AFK Sistema and its subsidiary Sistema-Invest raised its objections to the intervention which was turned down.
Oil company Bashneft was privatized in 2009. It was controlled by the government of Russia’s Bashkortostan region until 2003, when a major stake was sold to companies affiliated with Ural Rakhimov, son of the former head of Bashkortostan, Murtaza Rakhimov. In 2009, Russian oil-to-telecoms conglomerate AFK Sistema gained control of the company. In April 2014, investigators opened a criminal case linked to deals with Bashneft shares in 2002 to 2009.
Moscow's Basmanny District Court prohibited AFK Sistema in August from selling its Bashneft shares. Later the Moscow City Court upheld the ruling.
On September 25, Moscow Commercial Court seized Bashneft shares owned by AFK Sistema and Sistema-Invest.
The Prosecutor General’s Office is seeking to return Sistema’s stake in Bashneft to the state. The hearing in the case has been set for October 23.