Hearings have opened between Arsenal’s multi-billionaire Alisher Usmanov and Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, a man who is alleged to have exposed the former for the transfer of lucrative assets to a charity foundation.
According to Daily News, Navalny has been investigating prime minister Dmitry Medvedev’s alleged secret wealth and believes his former classmate owns the charity foundation that Usmanov and a number of Russian billionaires have been transferring lucrative assets to – one being a luxurious mansion.
Navalny has produced legal documents supporting his case, although Medvedev has denied any connection. Usmanov has insisted the transfer of ownership of the property has all about board, and sued the former corruption exposing blogger for defamation.
Navalny has failed in his attempt to summon the prime minister to testify. The Moscow district judge also struck down a motion to request the national property registry office to release the mansion deeds which Navalny says will prove his case.
After allegations broke, ensuing protests were said to be the most widespread in years in Russia. “If tens of thousands took to the streets in Moscow, then Medvedev needs to respond to this. Medvedev should be held responsible for this, not Usmanov,” said Navalny in court.
Usmanov, who recently attempted to buy out Arsenal Football Club for £1.3billion, didn’t appear in court but was represented by attorney Genrikh Padva who previously represented former jailed oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky.
The case continues.