25 March 2019: the Tribunal de Grande Instance of Nice (first instance court) granted the claim filed by former senator Sergei Pugachev against the Russian Federation

On this 25 day of March 2019, the Second Civil Chamber of the Tribunal de Grande Instance of Nice granted the claim filed by former senator Sergei Pugachev against the Russian Federation, represented by the State corporation DIA (Deposit Insurance Agency), and ordered DIA to pay the costs.

Russia has once more attempted to abuse the rule of law in using a foreign jurisdiction to persecute Sergei Pugachev. In 2015 the latter initiated proceedings before the Hague International Court, suing the Russian Federation for the expropriation of his assets in the amount of 12 billion dollars.

In 2015 Mr Pugachev was illegally condemned by the Russian justice to pay over 75 million dollars. The State corporation DIA subsequently filed a claim before the French court, accusing Mr Pugachev of dissimulating his assets in France.

It is widely known that Russia is using its legal system to persecute the regime’s political opponents.

In its decision dated 25 March the French court pointed out that the decision on former senator Pugachev’s subsidiary liability, issued on 30 April 2015, is illegal, as are all the other decisions issued in that case between 2012 and 2016, because the Russian court, contrary to the law, failed to have the case examined by a panel of judges.

Mr Pugachev is convinced that this case was trumped up against him after he filed a claim for 12 billion before the Hague court against Russia. He believes that all the legal proceedings  brought against him by the Russian authorities are politically motivated. Over the course of the past few years, the Russian authorities have filed law suits against the former senator in foreign jurisdictions, on the basis of illegal and politically motivated decisions issued by Russian courts.

Nevertheless, some foreign courts and international organisations, that are not subservient to the Kremlin, have repeatedly refused to persecute Mr Pugachev.  Thus in 2015 the Interpol commission wrote his name off the Interpol register, having established the political nature of the proceedings.

The Second Civil Chamber of the Tribunal de Grande Instance of Nice established that the decision of the Russian court dated 30 April 2015, condemning Mr Pugachev to pay over 75 million dollars, was rendered in blatant violation of the Russian laws. The said decision is thus illegal in Russia and, therefore, has no legal value outside Russia.

The State corporation DIA has already spent 2.9 billion rubles on trying to have the above-mentioned illegal decision recognised in foreign jurisdictions, thereby causing substantial material prejudice to Mr Pugachev.

Mr Pugachev’s lawyers are currently getting ready to file a claim against DIA for  the compensation of the material prejudice caused to Mr Pugachev by DIA’s illegal actions in various jurisdictions. In 2014 the State corporation DIA pledged, of its own free will, to compensate Mr Pugachev for the prejudice potentially caused to him, within the limit of 75 million US dollars.

The aforementioned pledge was confirmed by the High Court of London on 11 July 2014.


Sergei Pugachev’s press service