MOSCOW, July 25 - RAPSI, Sergei Feklyunin. The Moscow Commercial Court will hold on August 20 its preliminary hearing of a complaint against VTB bank by an individual named Sergei Devyatkin which seeks to invalidate the transfer of Bank of Moscow shares previously held by the Moscow government to VTB, the court told the Russian Legal Information Agency.

Moscow Property Management Department and the Central Fuel Company are co-defendants in the case.

The complaint was filed on May 5, but was shelved as the plaintiff failed to give his details, and to specify his claims in regard to each of the co-defendants, as well as to pay the state duty. In June, Devyatkin rectified the omissions and his complaint was accepted.

VTB announced that it had purchased 46.48 percent of the Bank of Moscow shares and 25 percent plus one share of the Capital Insurance Group in February 2011, just several months after the resignation of Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov.

To avoid an auction, obligatory in any kind of privatization in Russia, a scheme involving the Central Fuel Company, which is fully owned by the city, was conceived.

The transaction proceeded in two stages. At first, the city added the shares in the bank and the insurance group into the Central Fuel Company's charter capital as payment for its additional shares issuance. In doing so, the fuel company itself was then able to choose the purchaser and subsequently sold its portfolios to VTB for 103 billion rubles ($3.15 million).

The transaction has triggered much contention, and there have been several attempts to contest it in court. Ekotekhnologia and the Bank of Moscow filed lawsuits but their claims were dismissed.