Ukrainian oligarch Kolomoisky refuses to testify in UK High Court trial against PrivatBank's lawsuit

Ukrainian oligarch Kolomoisky refuses to testify in UK High Court trial against PrivatBank's lawsuit
Ukrainian oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky is refusing to testify at his trial in the High Court of London. / bne IntelliNews
By Dominic Culverwell in London May 28, 2023

The notorious Ukrainian oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky is refusing to testify at trial in the High Court of London in response to PrivatBank’s lawsuit, PrivatBank said in a press statement on May 26.

The billionaire and former owner of PrivatBank is accused of multi-billion-dollar fraud and financial misappropriation alongside business partner Hennaidy Boholiubov during their time at the bank. The Ukrainian government seized PrivatBank in December 2016 following near bankruptcy relating to $5.5bn missing from the bank’s accounts, revealed by bne IntelliNews in November 2016.

None of Kolomoisky’s witnesses are prepared to give oral evidence at trial and Boholiubov will also not testify following the pre-trial review on March 29. The trial is set to take place on June 12 with no witnesses for the two corrupt businessmen.

“No reasons have been given for the Defendants’ and their witnesses’ refusal to testify. However, it is a clear indication that Mr Kolomoisky and Mr Boholiubov have no good answer to PrivatBank’s allegations that they perpetrated a fraud on the Bank,” PrivatBank stated.

PrivatBank filed a lawsuit against Kolomoisky and Boholiubov in 2017 in the High Court of London, alongside six British companies allegedly associated with the businessmen. A court order was issued for a worldwide seizure of their assets totalling over $2.5bn.

As part of Kyiv’s corruption crackdown, law enforcement raided the house of Kolomoisky on February 1 following months of investigations. A former ally of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, the influential billionaire is suspected of embezzling oil products worth UAH40bn ($1.08bn) and evading customs payments. He has always denied any wrongdoing.

He was sanctioned by the US in 2021 and had his Ukrainian citizenship stripped in July 2022.

Since being nationalised, PrivatBank has turned into Ukraine’s most profitable bank, earning UAH30.25bn ($820mn) in net profit last year.

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