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Monaco Charges Russian Billionaire Rybolovlev In Graft Case

Dmitry Rybolovlev
Dmitry Rybolovlev

A judge in Monaco has charged Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev in a corruption-related case, the principality's chief prosecutor says.

Prosecutor Sylvie Petit-Leclair said on November 7 that Rybolovlev, who is the owner of soccer club AS Monaco, was “released subject to controls" after police questioned him for 24 hours and searched his properties.

The judge has been investigating whether Rybolovlev sought to influence Monaco's law enforcement officials in his legal battle with Swiss art dealer Yves Bouvier.

The Russian businessman accuses Bouvier of having conned him out of $1 billion by inflating the price of dozens pieces of art he bought from 2003 to 2014.

Bouvier denies wrongdoing.

Petit-Leclair said she had no details about the specific charges filed against Rybolovlev.

His lawyers said he was barred from meeting certain people but that his movements were not restrained.

The Monaco judge filed charges against three other people, including a lawyer for Rybolovlev and the wife and son of a former Monaco justice minister, Petit-Leclair said. The trio was also released from custody.

Rybolovlev saved AS Monaco from bankruptcy in December 2011 by buying a 66 percent stake and has provided the team with financial support.

The squad became the French champions in 2017 and also reached the final four of the Champions League.

Based on reporting by AP, Reuters, and TASS