London, United Kingdom:
The ex-wife of a Russian billionaire on Wednesday won a British court case against her son, whom she accuses of helping his father hide his assets during the bitter divorce battle.
The High Court of England and Wales in 2016 awarded Tatiana Akhmedova 41.5 percent of Farkhad Akhmedov’s $1-billion-plus fortune.
But she said 65-year-old businessman Akhmedov has hidden some of his assets with the help of their 27-year-old son, Temur Akhmedov, and claimed she is owed around Euro 70 million.
Temur Akhmedov asked the Family Division of the High Court in London to dismiss her claims against him, but judge Gwynneth Knowles ruled in favour of his mother.
“Today’s judgment is the inevitable conclusion given Farkhad’s failure to behave honourably in the first instance,” London-based Tatiana Akhmedova said in a statement.
A spokesman for Temur Akhmedov said he had “never sought to take sides or get involved but inevitably found himself sucked into the vortex of a bitter family dispute.
“His subsequent actions were only ever motivated by his desire to end the war between his parents.
“While he fundamentally disagrees with this judgment, he would consider it a price worth paying should it lead to a reasonable settlement between the parents he both loves.”
Azerbaijan-born Akhmedov became a senator in Russia after making his money in oil and gas. He featured on a 2018 US government list of Russian business and political elites.
The court was earlier told that Akhmedov had transferred a yacht and art collection into the ownership of trusts in Liechtenstein in what Akhmedova has described as a “strategy of evasion”.
He bought the 115-metre (377-foot) yacht — the MV Luna — from the Chelsea football club owner Roman Abramovich.
In her written ruling, judge Knowles quoted the Russian novel “Anna Karenina”. “All happy families are alike, each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way,” she said.
“With apologies to Tolstoy, the Akhmedov family is one of the unhappiest ever to have appeared in my courtroom.
“Though this case concerns wealth of which most can only dream, it is — at its core — a straightforward case in which, following their divorce, a wife seeks to recover that which is owed to her from a husband and his proxies who, it is alleged, have done all they can to put monies beyond her reach.”