Russian Billionaire Wins Appeal As Swiss Justice Reopens Bouvier Affair

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Nancy Heslin   Forbes Monaco

Russian Billionaire Wins Appeal As Swiss Justice Reopens Bouvier Affair

Photo: Facebook AS Monaco

In a press release on July 26, lawyers for Dmitri Rybolovlev confirmed that the Geneva Court of Justice has asked the prosecutor to resume the investigation into the Yves Bouvier case, the art dealer accused of fraud.

The Swiss prosecutor's office closed the case last year but the president of AS Monaco has won an appeal.

“This ruling demonstrates the untenability of Yves Bouvier’s defence and the inanity of his allegations,” stated Me Sandrine Giroud and Me Benoît Mauron.

“Our principals are calmly awaiting the continuation of the procedure and are convinced that the criminal responsibility of Yves Bouvier and his acolytes will be promptly established.”

The ongoing saga dates back seven years, when the Russian billionaire sued Bouvier for fraud, abuse of trust and money laundering on the sale of 38 works of art over 12 years. In Monaco, the case concerned three paintings, by Da Vinci, Gauguin and Rothko, purchased by Rybolovlev for which Bouvier was charged in February 2015 for fraud committed during these three transactions.

In July 2020, the Court of Revision in Monaco dismissed the Bouvier Affair, five years after the Russian oligarch filed a complaint for fraud and money laundering against Swiss art dealer Bouvier.

The country’s highest court confirmed the decision of the Monaco Court of Appeal (December 12, 2019) to cancel all criminal proceedings against Bouvier. This put an end to the legal and media battle that began in Monaco in January 2015, when Rybolovlev accused the art dealer of overcharging him around $1 billion for various works of art.

The criminal dispute between the two men continued in Switzerland, however, in September 2021, a Geneva prosecutor dismissed Rybolovlev’s case against Bouvier after it had been annulled in Monaco the year before.

Rybolovlev appealed and the Geneva courts have now overturned their decision. “At this stage, the thesis put forward by the plaintiff is plausible,” the court reportedly stated.

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Nancy Heslin   Forbes Monaco

Nancy Heslin is an established journalist and lifestyle writer. She has been the Editor-in-Chief of Forbes Monaco magazine (bimonthly in English) , since the magazine's 2nd issue . Launched in November 2018, Forbes Monaco is part of the Forbes family, with its 7 million readers and 71 million monthly website visitors worldwide.