On November 7, the owner of the Monaco football club Dmitry Rybolovlev and his lawyer were accused of abuse of influence and corruption, after which the investigator released them under judicial control. Other defendants in the high-profile criminal case were relatives of the former head of the Ministry of Justice of Monaco, Philip Narmino.
The official accusation of Dmitry Rybolovlev, his lawyer Tatyana Bershede, and Christina and Antoine Narmino, the wife and son of the ex-Minister of Justice of the Principality, was filed by investigative judge Edouard Levrot. The results of the interrogations of the accused, which lasted from Tuesday, apparently satisfied the judge, who released all four detainees under turnout and judicial oversight. At the same time, the statement of the prosecutor’s office of Monaco, which supports the prosecution, says that the investigative actions in the case will continue for several more days, and not only in Monaco, but also in Nice. In the case, noted in the prosecutor's office, there may appear other defendants.
Dmitriy Chechkin, the representative of Rybolovlev, confirmed that the businessman had been released from custody, left the police building where he had been stationed since Tuesday, and returned to his home.
Mr. Rybolovlev’s lawyers, Hervé Temim and Tom Jacquardi, confirming the charges against him, noted that the businessman was completely free in his movements. He is only forbidden to meet with persons participating in the proceedings and is ordered to appear on the summons to the investigating judge, which he will do, as he always did, defenders said. In a defense statement, it is noted that the imposition of an accusation in Monegasque is equivalent to an accusation in French law. This status is assigned to a person when the judge considers that there is a sufficient amount of material against him. According to the lawyers, in no case is it a matter of the charges that serve as the basis for the trial, not to mention the evidence that may lead to a conviction.
We especially emphasize the fact that at this stage Mr. Rybolovlev is considered innocent and insist on the need to strictly adhere to this principle and the rights associated with it, ”the defenders said.
Mr. Rybolovlev, we note, is accused in Monaco in two criminal cases. Earlier, the police incriminated him with unlawful interference with private life. Together with him the person involved in the case is the lawyer Bersheda.
In 2003, Mr. Rybolovlev began collecting works of art. An art dealer from Switzerland, Yves Bouvier, helped him to buy paintings by Pablo Picasso, Paul Gauguin, Rene Magritte and other famous artists. According to some data, for 37 canvases, Mr. Rybolovlev paid about $ 2 billion, but in 2014 he accidentally found out that the art dealer significantly inflated prices for the paintings he bought. After that, the businessman filed a lawsuit in the courts of several countries on the charges of Yves Bouvier in fraud. The following year, having met with the representative of the art dealer Tatyana Rappo, the lawyer of Mr. Rybolovlev Bersheda recorded the conversation with her on the phone. The record was transferred to the Monaco police as evidence of fraud on the part of Yves Bouvier. However, law enforcement officers demanded to give them the phone itself, in order to allegedly properly arrange the evidence. From that moment on, Mr. Rybolovlev and his defenders started having problems. The recorded conversation was reported to Tatiana Rappo, who appealed to the police with a statement about the unlawful interference with her private life, which was the reason for initiating a criminal case. Secondly, studying the contents of the mobile phone, law enforcement officers allegedly found in it correspondence, which the lawyer, at the request of Mr. Rybolovlev, could carry on with local police and Ministry of Justice officials, seeking criminal prosecution of Yves Bouvier.
The latter was indeed detained by police for fraud, but soon he was released on bail of € 10 million. Now Mr. Rybolovlev is suing an art dealer, trying to return over $ 1 billion worth of money he paid for his paintings.
On the basis of the data found in the lawyer’s phone, which the police submitted to the judicial investigation, another criminal case was initiated - on the facts of alleged corruption and abuse by “unidentified persons”. His figure was the Minister of Justice of Monaco, Philip Narmino, who after his arrest and interrogation resigned. Mr. Rybolovlev and his lawyer in this case have not had status until today. They were summoned several times for questioning as witnesses, but they refused to testify, referring to the fact that the lawfulness of obtaining data from the lawyer’s phone was appealed in court, and no final decision was made on this issue.