A representative of Russia’s richest woman Yelena Baturina called the criminal case against her part of a “raider attack” by billionaire Mikhail Fridman’s structures. According to him, it is especially disdainful that Baturina’s opponents arranged a “PR campaign” against her immediately after the death of her husband, former Moscow mayor Yury Luzhkov.
The ruling by a Kalmykian judge who put Russia’s richest woman, Yelena Baturina #61, on the wanted list in a criminal libel case is “another stage of a raid” against her “by the A1 Mikhail Fridman #6 structures using her longtime opponent Viktor Baturin and his unreasonable demands,” Gennady Terebkov, head of Baturina’s press service, told Forbes.
“The fact that opponents stepped up their actions, arranged a dirty PR-campaign against Yelena Baturina at the most tragic moment for her, immediately after the death of her husband, causes them special contempt” – said Terebkov. According to him, lawyers Baturina preparing to appeal against the court order, as well as going to initiate verification of actions of the Elista judge in the qualification collegium of judges.
“We do not want to give any comments on this matter,” Andrei Elinson, managing partner of A1, told Forbes. According to him, A1 has nothing to do with any ruling on the search for Baturina and is not involved in this case. Victor Baturin told Forbes that he had nothing to do with the statement on which the criminal case against his sister was opened.
Earlier on Friday it became known that a justice of the peace of the court district № 6 of the Elista judicial district opened a criminal case of slander against Elena Baturina and decided to declare her wanted. The application was filed against her by Erenzen Manzheyev, a financial manager in the bankruptcy case of Viktor Baturin, brother of the richest Russian woman, lawyer Dmitry Savochkin, who represents Manzheyev’s interests, told RBC.
According to the lawyer, the reason for the complaint was statements made by Baturina during her court proceedings with her brother in Austria. In the course of the dispute, Victor Baturin described the lawyer as challenging his sister’s allegation that she forged an annex to the agreement concluded between them in 2007 in which they settled their mutual claims. As a result, the parties ended up with different versions of the attachments. In the course of the litigation, Savochkin claims Yelena Baturina stated that a criminal case is being investigated in Russia against her brother’s financial manager for gaining access to her funds using forged documents. Manzheyev claims that this is untrue, which was the reason for his appeal to court.
The case against Baturina was filed under Part 1 of Article 128.1 of the Criminal Code (“Defamation”), which provides up to 500,000 rubles fine or up to 160 hours of compulsory labor. Declare Baturina wanted magistrate judge decided due to the fact that she had not been in court five times, writes RBC, referring to the judge’s order. It states that Baturina defenders filed a petition with the court to consider the case without her participation. However, the document did not list obstacles to her participation in the process and did not specify the circumstances of registration and signing of this paper (including the date), the magistrate said.
Terebkov told Forbes that Baturina’s written statements confirming her lawyers’ authority to consider the case in her absence had been submitted to the court, but the court ignored this.
Manzheyev’s lawyer Dmitry Savochkin confirmed to Forbes that the decision to put Baturina on the wanted list was made on Friday, December 27. “We are talking about a federal wanted list. Not international. I do not know the whereabouts of Elena Baturina”, – said the lawyer. He noted that he would not comment on the substance of the charges, but the process in a magistrate’s court had been dragging on for months, since September.