18:16 17.08.2020

Justice Minister suspects conspiracy in case on PrivatBank's serving Surkis' offshore deposits

3 min read
Justice Minister suspects conspiracy in case on PrivatBank's serving Surkis' offshore deposits

 Minister of Justice Denys Maliuska suspects conspiracy in the claim of the offshore companies of the Surkis brothers on executing the court decision of 2017 on the obligation of state-run PrivatBank (Kyiv) to service their deposits placed, the debt of which is estimated by the plaintiffs at $350 million (including $102 million of interest calculated at a rate of 13% per annum).

"Fixed agreement for billions of hryvnias with participants: judges, oligarchs and 'activists.' Now the court is considering the issue of legality and validity of the last and most blatant manipulation: the plaintiffs are asking to establish a procedure for the execution of the security order, which will recover the body of deposits and accrued interest in favor of the plaintiffs," Maliuska wrote on Facebook.

In his opinion, the collection of several billions of hryvnias from PrivatBank as security not only goes beyond Article 150 of the Civil Procedure Code, but also does not facilitate, but "on the contrary, makes it impossible for further execution of the court decision."

Maliuska also said that in case of collection of funds from PrivatBank, it will not be able to fulfill the service of deposits of Surkis' offshore companies stated in the claims.

"This whole process looks extremely bad for several reasons: given how much noise around the process and what risks to reputation it creates, it would be natural to quickly refuse to sustain the plaintiffs' statement. Instead, the court is holding a dramatic pause, trying to avoid any procedural violations of the defendants' procedural rights, obviously, it is expected that they will file an appeal, and not the plaintiffs," the Justice Minister said.

In his opinion, the appointment of the consideration of this claim by the latter on Friday testified to "the readiness to hear the case even until the night and get a result."

"The court, despite the absence of two defendants in the case, heard several motions and one challenge, and only after that, without hearing the opinion of the participants in the process, postponed the hearings due to the fact that the defendants were not summoned to the hearing. The impression was created (obviously deceptive, the court is independent) that the decision to postpone was made [...] not immediately and not by the person who was present in the courtroom," Maliuska said.

He also drew attention to the absence of activists under the courthouse at the meeting on Friday, who staged actions at previous hearings of PrivatBank cases.

The Justice Minister said that other judicial manipulations were also involved in the process, including the appointment of an individual [former chairman of the board of PrivatBank Oleksandr Shlapak] as a "formal defendant" to change the jurisdiction of the case, as well as manipulate the choice of a judge – identical applications were filed one after another until the system assigned the case to a certain judge.

He also pointed to the manipulation of the court fee (the claim was not about the collection of funds, but about the maintenance of deposits) and the manipulation of the method of collateral (the collateral was almost identical to the claims).

As reported, at the meeting on August 14, judge of Pechersky District Court of Kyiv, Serhiy Vovk, postponed due to the failure to appear at the meeting of representatives of the Finance Ministry and Shlapak, the consideration of the claim of the Surkis brother companies on the procedure for implementing the court decision of 2017 on PrivatBank's obligation to service their deposits to September 2.

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