Mikhail Prokhorov intends to sue Aleksey Navalny, the Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK), RBC's representative ONEKSIM, controlled by Prokhorov, said. Earlier, the television channel "Rain" reported this.
Earlier on Thursday, April 26, Navalny said in his blog that an offshore company connected with a billionaire purchased the villa of vice-premier Alexander Khloponin in Forte dei Marmi in Tuscany (Italy) for € 35.5 million (2.6 billion rubles. at the rate at the time of purchase: the first tranche, says Navalny, was executed on April 24, 2017).
Two days earlier, on April 24, that Khloponin had sold the villa, the BBC reported. Then a representative of the ONEXIM group confirmed to RBC the fact of this transaction, but details of the deal were not disclosed.
FBK claims that the amount of € 35.5 million for the villa is overestimated by at least three times.
The decision of the billionaire to appeal to the court itself, Alexei Navalny commented in a live broadcast on YouTube. "Serve us in court, and prove to us, please, that this - all the time I want to say the hut is worth 35 million, but no, this is not a hut, of course, this is an expensive Italian villa in Italy, but it does not cost 35 billion." "We have a contract, we received it officially," Navalny emphasized in his speech.
The publication in the blog of Navalny claims that houses similar in characteristics to the villa in question are much less in the same region: "A similar house is also 2 km from the sea <...> the house is exactly twice as large . The cost is € 4.9 million <...> another house in the same place, 600 sq. Km. m, 30 acres of land, but, unlike the Chloponin, a few meters from the sea <...> € 10 million three times cheaper. "
"We, relying on information from open sources, claim that this is a bribe," - says the publication on the website of the founder of FBK. In his opinion, this is due to the fact that "Khloponin oversees subsoil use, and Prokhorov's interests are connected with this sphere".
"The deal was absolutely transparent. Navalny's statement about a bribe is a lie. We will sue for defamation, "RBC representative of ONEKSIM said, without specifying whether this claim will be filed against FBK in general or personally against Alexei Navalny.
Representative of the vice-premier Alexander Khloponin categorically denies the bribe. According to the press secretary of Deputy Prime Minister Natalia Platonova, he declared and carried out a deal to sell his villa on market terms. "We are not interested in the work of Navalny and do not want to comment on his speculations. The deal on the sale of real estate by Alexander Khloponin was officially declared, carried out on market conditions with payment of all necessary taxes, "said RBC Platonov.
Previously, experts interviewed by the BBC, assessing the possible cost of the villa, bought by Mikhail Prokhorov, noted that the amount of the transaction could be from € 7 million to $ 20 million. The specialists explained that the final cost of the house depends on various factors, including state of the house and its internal filling.
Alexander Khloponin became vice-premier in 2014. In the government, he oversees the issues of subsoil use, nature conservation, timber industry complex, alcohol market, environmental and fire safety, as well as the development of the North Caucasus. In the declaration on incomes for 2016 among other things, the official indicated an apartment house and a land plot in Italy. In his income statement for 2017, this property is no longer there, while he declared the income of 2.9 billion rubles.
The owner of ONEXIM Mikhail Prokhorov, according to Forbes, owns assets at $ 9.6 billion. In the rating of the richest people in Russia, the businessman occupies the 13th position.
The ONEXIM group includes the company Intergeo, which operates in the field of mining of solid minerals. Its activities are aimed at the development, geological study and acquisition of subsoil plots with stocks of non-ferrous metal ores.