Billionaire owner of AS Monaco in custody

Source:AFP Published: 2018/11/7 21:43:41

The Russian billionaire owner of AS Monaco soccer club was in custody on Tuesday, his lawyer confirmed, the latest twist in his legal battle with a Swiss art dealer, who he claims ­cheated him of up to $1 billion, and Sotheby's auctioneers.

Police officers also carried out a search Tuesday morning of Dmitry Rybolovlev's luxury penthouse apartment in the principality, said a source close to the case.

Rybolovlev's lawyer Herve Temine confirmed the latest developments, while stressing the principle of the presumption of innocence.

Temine's colleague Thomas Giaccardi said the latest move came after the seizure and analysis of a mobile phone belonging to one of Rybolovlev's lawyers, Tetiana Bersheda.

Since 2015, Rybolovlev has been locked in a legal battle with Swiss art dealer Yves ­Bouvier, who he accuses of having swindled him out of up to $1 billion, by charging inflated fees.

On October 2 this year, Rybolovlev opened a new front in his legal battle, launching a $380 million lawsuit against Sotheby's auction house through the New York courts.

In it, he accused the auction house of having helped Bouvier, their art advisor, carry out "the largest art fraud in history" - at his expense.

Rybolovlev says Bouvier tricked him over the acquisition of 38 works of art he bought from him over a decade for more than $2.1 billion. Sotheby's has dismissed the lawsuit as "entirely without merit."



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