Fugitive ex-deputy head of Ministry of Agriculture won’t sue £30mn in London

Fugitive ex-deputy head of Ministry of Agriculture won’t sue £30mn in London
Aleksey Bazhanov

The British Court of Appeal refused to consider a lawsuit of former Deputy Minister Aleksey Bazhanov.

The appeal instance of the High Court of London refused to consider a lawsuit from the fugitive ex-deputy head of the Ministry of Agriculture. According to Kommersant, the British Court refrained from processing the suit on July 4. It was Bazhanov’s another attempt to collect multimillion compensation for the assets of his former company Masloproduct from the structures of St. Petersburg businessman Arkady Forsman. Bazhanov believes that the businessman got the assets of the now-bankrupt company illegally; half a year ago, he had already appealed to the London Court of first instance, but had been denied the processing of his appeal. According to the judiciary, they are not authorized to consider the claim, because it is outside the defendants’ jurisdiction.

For obvious reasons, Bazhanov cannot arrange a trial on the territory of Russia. In Russia, a criminal case of swindling on an especially large scale has been initiated against him since 2013. In 2014, the former deputy minister managed to escape from justice by fleeing the country.

The investigation believes that the ex-official would embezzle money allocated for the development and support of agriculture in the Voronezh region. Bazhanov and his accomplices have developed a scheme, according to which his company concluded contracts for the supply of equipment for the production of sunflower oil. They would receive the money, but the supplies remained dead letters. Bazhanov is charged with embezzling more than 10 billion rubles ($159.7 million). Rosagrolizing, Svyaz-bank, Rosselkhozbank, and the Moscow Industrial Bank were accorded the status of victims.

In addition, a number of managers from Bazhanov’s former company also fell under investigation. The ex-financier of Masloprodukt and ex-head of the subsidiary Vita have already been sentenced to different terms. Three former managers remain in custody.

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