The Russian Interior Ministry Investigation Department spokesmen have repeatedly been asserting that I am being charged of causing harm to property of the Bank of Moscow as a result of a transaction of the sale of two shares of Stolichnaya Strakhovaya Gruppa in 2010. The damages have been assessed by the investigators as amounting to 1.7 billion roubles.
On 16 July the Moscow Commercial Court handed down its decision in which it rejected a claim by ZAO Finansovyy Assistent, a Bank of Moscow subsidiary, which had earlier sold those two shares and which sought to reclaim them from alien unlawful possession.
The court found that the claimant had failed to prove that the two shares had been alienated against its will and that the sole executive body had been involved in abuse. In addition, the court did not agree with the claimant’s arguments that the completed transactions were of fictitious nature.
Finally and most importantly, the court took into account the fact that the defendant, the Marvil Company, in court, made an offer to the claimant, ZAO Finansovyy Assistent, to sell to it the two shares at the price of the purchase, 2,500 roubles. At the request of ZAO Finansovyy Assistent, the court gave the parties time to settle the case out of court, but the claimant refused to do so.
The following conclusions can be drawn from the decision made by the court and actions of the top management of the Bank of Moscow and ZAO Finansovyy Assistent:
1. The transactions because of which criminal prosecution of a number of employees of the Bank of Moscow (including myself) and its subsidiaries was begun are lawful. In such a situation, the actions of the individuals who were involved in completing those transactions are lawful and do not contain elements of crime.
2. The refusal of the VTB Group to buy the shares at issue at the price of sale (2,500 roubles) is a testimony to the fact that:
(a) The VTB Group and the Bank of Moscow sustained no damages,
(b) The true sense of why the VTB Group sought to open a criminal case based on the fact of the sale of two shares of the Stolichnaya Strakhovaya Gruppa is to organize unlawful criminal prosecution of former employees of the Bank of Moscow.