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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

Wednesday, Nov. 26


AmChams Public Relations Committee will meet this afternoon in their office in the New St. Isaacs Office Center on Ulitsa Yakubovicha at 4 p.m.


Zoosphere, an international exhibition focusing on the pet industry, opens today at the Lenexpo convention center on Vasilievsky Island. Not only will items such as toys, terrariums and accessories be available for purchase, but animal enthusiasts can also learn about the latest in veterinary medicine and behavioral training thanks to the conferences and presentations that are part of the event.



Thursday, Nov. 27


The Customs and Transportation Committee for AmCham meets this morning at 9 a.m. in their office on Ulitsa Yakubovicha.


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Celebrate one of Russian literatures most tragic figures during Blok Days, a two-day celebration of the 134th anniversary of the poets birthday. The tragic tenors work, which led to writer Maxim Gorky to hail him as Russias greatest living poet before his death in 1921, will be recited and meetings and discussions about his contributions to the Silver Age of literature in St. Petersburg will be discussed in the confines of his former residence.



Friday, Nov. 28


Strategically dominate your foes at the British Book Centers Board Game Evening. Held every Friday at 5 p.m., aficionados and amateurs alike can come take part in a variety of different games that test ones intellect and cunning.



Saturday, Nov. 29


Cats, dogs, birds, rodents and reptiles are just some of the things that will walk and crawl at Lenexpo convention center this weekend as part of Zooshow, a two-day exhibition featuring not only mans best friends but a four-legged fashion show, as well as a food fair that will help pet owners find out more about which kibbles are best for their hungry pets.



Sunday, Nov. 30


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Monday, Dec. 1


Serbia filmmaker Emir Kusturica is the featured guest this evening at the Lensovet Culture Palace on Petrograd. Fans of the director will get the chance to watch his movie Black Cat, White Cat, as well as ask questions about his award-winning filmography. Tickets for the event, which starts at 7 p.m., start at 2,000 rubles ($42.50).



Tuesday, Dec. 2


Today is the final day of Takoy Festival, a three-week program of plays based on the works of Dostoevsky, Remarque and other famed European writers, whose work is transcribed for theatrical performances. Tonights festival finale is Fathers and Sons, a two-act drama staged by the Novosibirsk Academic Drama Theater based on Turgenevs classic about familial relations.



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