Cypriot Court Jails Mukhtar Ablyazov’s Associate10.08.2012
London – A Cypriot court today sent British citizen Paul Kythreotis, a business associate of former BTA Bank Chairman Mukhtar Ablyazov, to prison for contempt of court. Mr Kythreotis is a co-defendant with Mr Ablyazov in a US$295 million English High Court case brought by JSC BTA Bank (the “Bank”), and the first of Mr Ablyazov’s network to be taken into custody as part of these proceedings.
This Cypriot sentence comes after the English High Court sentenced Mr Kythreotis to 21 months in prison for contempt of court, which it was unable to enforce it due to his refusal to return to England. This is an important step to help prevent the disbursal of assets which the Bank is seeking to claim through litigation.
Pavel Prosyankin, the BTA Bank Board Member/ Managing Director overseeing the asset recovery process, said:
“We welcome today’s judgment in Cyprus sending one of Mr Ablyazov’s key associates to prison. We have pursued these committal actions to break the networks through which Mr Ablyazov and his associates can improperly hide and disperse assets. The Bank is determined to seek redress against those who have been instrumental in the losses that it has suffered from alleged fraud, as well as those who are assisting in the concealment of monies or assets misappropriated from the Bank.”
As part of a worldwide freezing order, Mr Kythreotis was ordered on 29 July 2010 to provide details of his assets amounting to US$68,286,517, as well as to provide information on the US$295 million that the Bank alleges has been misappropriated from it. He subsequently failed to disclose accurate information, and later admitted to submitting false information to the court. The English High Court found him to be in contempt and sentenced him to prison, a sentence which Mr Kythreotis has avoided by remaining in Cyprus. The Bank has therefore successfully pursued committal proceedings against Mr Kythreotis in Cyprus.