Hundreds of Russians lose housing rights amidst case against oligarch
MOSCOW, December 6 - RAPSI. The Moscow Tverskoy District Court has confiscated more than 2,500 hectares of land, including the area of the Serebryanaya Podkova (Silver Horseshoe) village in Moscow Region, as part of a criminal case against Kazakh oligarch Mukhtar Ablyazov, Izvestia daily reported.
Moscow Tverskoy District Court judge Svetlana Ukhnaleva prohibited the village's residents from disposing of their property.
As a result, the residents are now breaking the law by their merely being on the land and by living in their own homes.
The residents have sent a complaint to Vladimir Putin, the Investigative Committee and the Prosecutor General's Office.
They said that the court ruling is illegal and they do not want to endure difficulties because of Ablyazov.
The case against Ablyazov was opened in early 2009 after the Kazakh government acquired a stake in BTA and the bank came under the control of its Samruk-Kazyna sovereign fund. Ablyazov fled the country and settled in the UK. He believes the charges against him are politically motivated. Kazakhstan seeks his extradition for large-scale fraud, draining the bank's funds using dummy companies.
In 2009, the bank filed the lawsuits against Ablyazov to return assets worth billions of dollars, which it believes were stolen by Ablyazov when he chaired the bank's board of directors.
Russia has also launched criminal proceedings against Ablyazov. In October 2010, a Moscow district court issued an arrest warrant for him in absentia on charges of large-scale fraud.
In November the London Court of Appeals upheld the ruling to keep Ablyazov under arrest and to place him in jail.
Ablyazov lost his appeal over the two main rulings of the High Court of Justice in London. The first ruling sentenced Ablyazov to 22 months in prison for contempt of court. The second ruling ordered Ablyazov to surrender to the corresponding authorities and disclose information on his assets in full, otherwise, he would be deprived of his right to defense in the bank's eight lawsuits against him worth over $6 billion.
RAPSI has not been able to obtain any comments from Ablyazov's attorneys.