Dubai: Representatives of Tatiana Akhmedova the ex-wife of Russian billionaire Farkhad Akhmedov deny that their client has been slapped with a damages claim for $85 million (Dh312 million) for the ‘wrongful’ impoundment of the ex-couple’s superyacht, which has been held in Dubai for over a year.
The £350 million boat named Luna, which used to belong to Chelsea Football Club owner Roman Abramovich, was seized upon the orders of the DIFC commercial court in February 2018 while Akhmedova attempted to claim its possession from Akhmedov as part of a UK-record £453 million (Dh2.18 billion) divorce settlement against the tycoon in 2016.
However, Dubai Courts ruled the confiscation of the yacht invalid last month, according to statement by Akhmedov’s representatives, and according to the same representatives a case for damages worth $85 million over the yacht’s confiscation against Akhmedova and her backers Burford Capital Investments, was also filed on Thursday.
Gulf News saw copies of both case files before putting out both stories on March 28 to release the yacht and April 11 to file for damages, however Akhmedova’s representatives released the following comment to the newspaper on Friday refuting these reports.
“We have not seen this claim nor had any formal notification of its filing,” read the statement sent on April 12. “The claim as reported in the media is a PR stunt which simply ignores the fact that the UK Courts have already ruled that the Luna belongs to Ms Akhmedova.”
Any suggestion that Mr Akhmedov’s position is justified by an alleged divorce in Russia in 2000 is pure fabrication.
The English High Court awarded Akhmedova a record £453 million settlement from her ex-husband in 2016.
However Akhmedov fought the ruling and hasn’t paid the settlement because the couple originally divorced in their native Russia in 2000, seven years after their 1993 marriage, according to Akhmedov’s representatives.
Akhmedova is alleged by Akhmedov’s representatives of pursuing a ‘second divorce’ in the UK in 2012 however, just days after Akhmedov made $1 billion from the sale of his holdings in Northgas, an energy company he had built up in Siberia following his initial 2000 divorce.
Akhmedova’s representatives however added in their statement sent to Gulf News on Friday that: “Any suggestion that Mr Akhmedov’s position is justified by an alleged divorce in Russia in 2000 is pure fabrication.”
Of the Dubai case it added: “The court process in Dubai is ongoing and we are confident that the Dubai Court will find Mr Akhmedov’s claim [to the Luna] to be without merit.”
Lawyers acting on behalf of Akhmedov say the 2016 High Court ruling was ‘wrong and misguided’ and they are now confident that “no court in the world will endorse further attempts by Tatiana to seize Akhmedov’s assets”, according to a statement.