MOSCOW, December 10 (RAPSI) – Sergei Pugachev, the former beneficiary of the International Industrial Bank (IIB or Mezhprombank) and ex-member of the Russian parliament’s upper house, participated in a London trial against him on Wednesday, RIA Novosti reported.
Pugachev was communicating with the High Court of Justice in London from France through video link. His exact location was not disclosed because of his safety concerns. Ex-senator was speaking in Russian, communication was conducted through translator.
While answering court’s questions Pugachev often claimed that he did not remember certain dates, locations and details of his actions.
On December 3 the High Court of Justice ordered to immediately arrest ex-senator because he could not guarantee his presence during a trial related to lawsuit against Pugachev by Mezhprombank and the Deposit Insurance Agency (DIA). Later the High Court allowed Pugachev to participate in a trial through video link.
Last year, the DIA filed a lawsuit at 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.
This September 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.
Pugachev appealed the decision, but in December 2014 London’s High Court refused to release his assets.
The Moscow Commercial Court declared Mezhprombank bankrupt in November 2010 after the bank defaulted and received a 40 billion ruble ($630 million) bailout from Russia’s Central Bank. The DIA was appointed liquidator of IIB’s assets.
An investigation into the bankruptcy was launched in January 2011 on suspicion of illegal operations in the process of filing for bankruptcy and premediated 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.