Supreme Court Rejects Ablyazov’s Final Appeal DECISION EXPEDITES BTA BANK’S ASSET RECOVERY26.02.2013 16:32:53
London, February 26, 2013 – The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom has rejected former BTA Bank (“the Bank”) Chairman Mukhtar Ablyazov’s application for leave to appeal the Court of Appeal’s rejection of his application against Mr Justice Teare’s judgment which debarred him from defending BTA Bank's claims against him as a result of his serious contempts of court and failure to hand himself to the British authorities to serve his prison sentences. The Supreme Court refused leave to appeal on the basis that the application did not raise an arguable point of law of general public importance.
The Bank has already obtained judgments against Mr Ablyazov for approximately $2 billion in two of its claims against him; it is in the process of entering judgment for a further US$1.5 billion and will enter further judgments when it needs to.
Pavel Prosyankin, BTA Bank Managing Director overseeing the asset recovery process and Member of the Management Board of the Bank, said:
“Today’s decision marks the end of Mr Ablyazov’s legal manoeuvring and will expedite the enforcement of the significant judgments we have won. The Supreme Court’s decision reinforces the Bank’s ability to start to reverse the processes by which Mr Ablyazov fraudulently diverted assets from the Bank. We remain committed to the process to help restore the Bank’s financial standing which was devastated by Mr Ablyazov’s actions.”
Notes to editors:
- The High Court sentenced Mr Ablayzov to three concurrent 22 month sentences on 16 February 2012, finding him in contempt of court for failing to comply with court orders requiring him to fully disclose his assets, cease dealings with assets, and repatriate any assets which were disposed of in breach of the orders.
- Mr Justice Nigel Teare said that Mr Ablyazov had lied on oath in a “remarkable and brazen” manner.
- Mr Ablyazov fled the jurisdiction and was not present at the 16 February 2012 hearing.
- On 29 February 2012, Mr Justice Teare ordered that, unless Mr Ablyazov made further disclosure and present himself to the court staff within seven days, the Bank could seek judgment against him, meaning he would be debarred from defending the claims. Mr Ablyazov did not comply with the Unless Orders.
- Mr Ablyazov appealed Mr Justice Teare’s decisions in the Court of Appeal. On 6 November 2012, the Court of Appeal unanimously upheld the judgments against Mr Ablyazov.
- In the Court of Appeal’s judgment, Lord Justice Maurice Kay stated – “It is difficult to imagine a party to commercial litigation who has acted with more cynicism, opportunism and deviousness towards court orders than Mr Ablyazov.”
- As Mr Ablyazov failed to comply with the Unless Orders, on 23 November 2012 the Bank was granted default judgment against him in the DCM and Drey Proceedings for over $2 billion.
- The Bank is now seeking to enforce those judgments.
- In February 2013, the Bank completed the trial of the Chrysopa, Granton and Drey proceedings in the High Court against the remaining defendants. It awaits judgments.
- The Bank has issued eleven claims in England against Mr Ablyazov (and others) worth approximately US$6 billion.