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Cherney Faces Travel Problems

Published: January 19, 2010 (Issue # 1540)



  • A woman walks past the company logos of United Company RusAl at a news conference in Hong Kong last week.
    Photo: Reuters

MOSCOW Businessman Michael Cherney has been restricted from traveling abroad after an international warrant was issued for his arrest on accusations of money laundering and participating in organized crime.

Cherney, also known as Mikhail Chernoi, said the accusations were engineered by Oleg Deripaska, whom he is suing in London for a stake in United Company RusAl.

Information that an international warrant was issued for Cherneys arrest was posted on Interpols web site, and the order was given by a Spanish court. The businessman has been implicated in a case involving the laundering of 4 million euros ($5.8 million) through the Russian mafia.

The Spanish court issued the order for his arrest in May, and Spanish prosecutors asked their British counterparts to arrest and extradite Cherney from London to Spain. But British authorities released him after interrogation, El Mundo newspaper reported. In October, the newspaper reported that Spanish police were interested in Deripaskas possible connection to the case.

Why are you just now deciding to write that theres an international warrant out for me? Ive been on the Interpol list since summer because of the Spanish case, Cherney said, adding that it was probably representatives of Deripaska who alerted reporters to the warrant in order to distract the media from another issue.

On Jan. 13, a Tel Aviv court passed down a ruling in a suit brought by Cherney against several Israeli citizens who, according to Cherney, falsified data for the investigation in Spain.

One of the defendants admitted that Deripaska himself ordered the collection of information that was the basis for the criminal case against me in Spain, Cherney said. But Deripaska dug himself into a hole in the course of the case, the Spanish prosecutor accused Deripaska of the same thing as me! The Spaniards think that were both bosses in the Izmailovsky gang but that Im higher up, and that with the advance Deripaska gave me for part of RusAl I bought some real estate in Spain and, in doing so, laundered the money. Im sure the next warrant will be issued for Deripaska.

A Deripaska representative dismissed the notion that there was any connection between Deripaska and Cherneys problems. Deripaska doesnt have, never had and cannot have any relationship with him, the representative said. His statement about Deripaskas connection to illegal data collection is also false and absurd.

Representatives of the Spanish court and prosecutors office did not respond to a Vedomosti request for comment.

Cherney said the fact that there is a warrant out for his arrest and that he has been forced to stay in Israel wont interfere with his suit against Deripaska in London.

Lawyers, on the whole, agree. If Cherney goes to London, he could be arrested, but Cherneys lawyers could petition the court to allow him to testify via video link, said Valery Tutykhin, a partner at John Tiner & Partners.

A staff member at the London High Court said cases using teleconferencing were relatively common, but it is up to the judge as to whether it will be allowed. Requests for video links are sometimes denied, but the threat of arrest could count as a good enough reason to justify such a measure, said Sergei Sokolov, a partner at Marks & Sokolov.

Cherney is seeking $3 billion in compensation from Deripaska for a stake in RusAl that he sold in 2001.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Friday, Oct. 31


Put your grammar and logical thinking to the test in a fun and friendly environment during the British Book Centers Board Game Evening starting at 5 p.m. today. The event is free and all are welcome to attend.



Saturday, Nov. 1


The men and women who dedicate their lives to fitness get their chance to compete for the title of best body in Russia at todays Grand Prix Fitness House PRO, the nations premier bodybuilding competition. Not only will men and women be competing for thousands of dollars in prizes and a trip to represent their nation at Mr. Olympia but sporting goods and nutritional supplements will also be available for sale. Learn more about the culture of the Indian subcontinent during Diwali, the annual festival of lights that will be celebrated in St. Petersburg this weekend at the Culture Palace on Tambovskaya Ul. For 100 rubles ($2.40), festival-goers listen to Indian music, try on traditional Indian outfits and sample dishes highlighting the culinary diversity of the billion-plus people in the South Asian superpower.



Sunday, Nov. 2


Check out the latest video and interactive games at the Gaming Festival at the Mayakovsky Library ending today. Meet with the developers of the popular and learn more about their work, or learn how to play one of their creations with the opportunity to ask the creators themselves about the exact rules.



Monday, Nov. 3


Non-athletes can get feed their need for competition without breaking a sweat at the Rock-Paper-Scissors tournament this evening at the Cube Bar at Lomonosova 1. Referees will judge the validity of each matchup award points to winners while the citys elite fight for the chance to be called the best of the best. Those hoping to play must arrange a team beforehand and pay 200 rubles ($4.80) to enter.



Tuesday, Nov. 4


Attend the premiere of Canadian director Xavier Dolans latest film Mommy at the Avrora theater this evening. The fifth picture from the 25-year-old, it is the story of an unruly teenager but the most alluring (or unappealing) aspect is the way the film was shot: in a 1:1 format that is more reminiscent of Instagram videos than cinematic art. Tickets cost 400 rubles ($9.60) and snacks and drinks will be available.



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