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The (Court) Battle of Trafalgar: Ukrainian Oligarchs Face Off Abroad II Story by Dmytro Gnap

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Published on Nov 9, 2017

The British press called this court case one of the most expensive in the history of English law. Two billion dollars. That is the amount that Ukrainian businessman Viktor Pinchuk demanded from two other Ukrainian oligarchs – Ihor Kolomoyskyi, and Henadiy Boholyubov – at the London High Court in 2013.
The case could have been a scandal, but in January 2016, Pinchuk, Kolomoyskyi and Boholyubov concluded an agreement among themselves out of court. In doing so, they ended the lawsuit without revealing the conditions of their agreement.

With the help of documents from the recently revealed Paradise Papers, the Organized Crime and Reporting Project (OCCRP) has uncovered the secret conditions of their agreement.

According to Pinchuk, he gave money to Kolomoyskyi and Boholyubov in the mid-2000s in an attempt to purchase one of the biggest iron ore mining enterprises in Ukraine. But the plaintiff argued he never received the companies or his money back. In 2013, Pinchuk estimated his lost profits since at two billion dollars.

Following the accusations, the media waited in anticipation for details of the litigation. The case had the potential to be no less scandalous than the dispute between Russian oligarchs Boris Berezovsky and Roman Abramovich. When settling their affairs in a London court, the two revealed many spectacular secrets about how state property was divided among oligarchs during privatization in Russia in the 1990s. Had they gone to court, the Ukrainian oligarchs could have revealed similar details about the privatization of Ukraine’s state assets.

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