Tuesday, February 08, 2005

POLITICS: Rich Russian before Swiss Court?

MOSCOW - One of Russia's richest people, Roman Abramovich, might have to appear in a Swiss court to defend against claims filed by the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). The bank is demanding that Mr. Abramovich return a loan worth 9 million pounds (approximately $17 million). The EBRD is reported to have acquired documents indicating that Mr. Abramovich used part of the loan "inappropriately." In particular, the Russian billionaire is accused of using some of the money to buy two luxury yachts. The court documents prepared by the EBRD include a fax instructing Runicom S.A. to transfer 28,000 Swiss francs to pay for beauty treatment provided for Mr. Abramovich's wife, Irina. Russian legal experts are rather skeptical about the EBRD's chances of suing Mr. Abramovich successfully.

New York Jewish Times


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