Rybolovlev loses latest round in art case

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Yves Bouvier. Photo: Hpetit21
Yves Bouvier. Photo: Hpetit21

AS Monaco majority owner Dmitry Rybolovlev has suffered a new setback in his ongoing court battles with art dealer Yves Bouvier. Singapore’s highest court ruled on April 18 to stay an ongoing court case, saying that Switzerland would be the more appropriate jurisdiction in which the Russian billionaire should pursue his claim for damages.

Mr Rybolovlev claimed claimed that Mr Bouvier, a Swiss citizen, had committed fraud and breached fiduciary responsibilities.

The Court of Appeal in Singapore agreed with Mr Bouvier’s lawyers that the transactions were governed by Swiss law, as specifically written into contracts for the initial four sales, which took place between 2003 and 2006. Mr Bouvier, who also has major stakes in a number of freeports, moved to Singapore in 2009.

Mr Rybolovlev filed a criminal complaint against Mr Bouvier in Monaco in January 2015, leading to his arrest in the Principality. Mr Rybolovlev has claimed that he was overcharged by about $1 billion on the acquisitions of nearly 40 works of art, while Mr Bouvier’s defence rests on his claim that he was working as a private dealer, and could set his own prices.

In an earlier court case in Singapore, the Russian fertiliser magnate sought to freeze Mr Bouvier’s global assets, but the same court unfroze his accounts in August, 2016. Legal proceedings remain in place in Monaco.

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