What’s Happening with the Kolomoisky Case in London?
24 November, 2018
The London High Court ruled the case of the nationalized PrivatBank against its former owners – oligarchs Ihor Kolomoisky and Gennadiy Bogolyubov – as outside of their jurisdiction, but gave the bank the right to appeal this decision. At the same time, the worldwide arrests of these oligarchs’ assets will not be revoked.

This was reported by the press service of PrivatBank on November 23 based on the London court hearing results.

Ukrainian oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky. Photo credit: UNIAN

"Despite the fact that the judge acknowledged that the bank became victim of large-scale fraudulent acts, amounting to approximately $329 million to $1.2 billion, he concluded that the English court had no jurisdiction to consider the bank's lawsuit against its former shareholders. At present, the court decision was not formally passed, as the judge is considering the issue of the amount in the reasonably well-founded case filed by the bank, which was submitted for consideration this morning," says PrivatBank.

PrivatBank added that they will appeal this court decision.

"We will continue to retrieve these funds through litigation in London and we believe that the English court will ultimately administer justice between the parties," said the board chairman of PrivatBank Petr Krumhanzl.

PrivatBank was nationalized back in December 2016 after a decision by the Ukrainian government. In December 2017, the nationalized PrivatBank filed a lawsuit in the London High Court against Kolomoisky and Bogolyubov, as well as against a number of companies that are likely managed by them. Kolomoisky stated to the Ukrainian news program TSN that he was forced to offer the nationalization of PrivatBank himself because of the National Bank’s of Ukraine (NBU) "ways of artificially reducing the bank's capitalization."

According to the then head of the NBU Valeria Gontareva, the former leadership of PrivatBank transferred 16 billion hryvnia (nearly $577 million) out of the bank the night before its nationalization. An investigation by the Ukrainian service of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty also revealed that 110 billion hryvnia (nearly $4 billion) was transferred out of PrivatBank through fictitious companies before the nationalization.

On December 20, 2017, the High Court of London ruled to freeze Kolomoisky’s and Bogolyubov’s assets all over the world that added up to over $2.5 billion. Asset seizure was issued on the basis of detailed evidence provided by the court, which implies that Kolomoisky and Bogolyubov took out nearly two billion dollars through a series of illegal operations. As a result, funds were transferred to companies secretly owned by them or are under their control.

Ihor Kolomoisky and Gennadiy Bogolyubov directly or indirectly owned more than 91,5% of PrivatBank shares. The rest belonged to minority shareholders, in particular, the former management headed by the then board chairman Alexander Dubilet.