MOSCOW, August 29 (RAPSI) – The Moscow Commercial Court has postponed hearings over an appeal filed by ex-beneficiary of International Industrial Bank (Mezhprombank) Sergey Pugachev seeking to overturn a ruling requiring him and other bank’s top managers to pay 75.6 billion rubles (about $1.2 billion), the court documents read on Tuesday.
The hearing was postponed because court documents did not contain information on Pugachev’s notification about the date, time and place of the court’s proceedings.
New evidence Pugachev based his appeal is the fact that, as established in September 2016 by an appellate court, in July 2015 the Moscow Commercial Court examined the bankruptcy claim he was involved in by a panel illegitimately composed of a single judge.
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 bln) from former managers of the bank.
The Moscow Commercial Court in late October granted DIA the right to forcibly collect 75.6 billion rubles ($1.3 billion) 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 ($676 million at current rate) bailout from Russia’s Central Bank. 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.