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Monagasque Justice Minister ensnared in Russian billionaire’s corruption case

Saturday, 10 November, 2018 - 09:13

The former head of Monaco’s judicial services Philippe Narmino, the equivalent of the Keeper of the Seals in the Principality, has been indicted alongside Russian billionaire Dmitri Rybolovlev, the prosecutor’s office said on Thursday. Both are suspected of corruption.

Mr Narmino has been indicted for trading in passive and active influence and for passive bribery, while the boss of AS Monaco football club has been charged with active trading in influence and active bribery, according to the same source. The scandal was revealed in 2017 at the when the Russian billionaire initiated  a lawsuit in Monaco against his former art dealer.

The two men were also charged with violation of the confidentiality of investigations, as were three others: Mr. Rybolovlev’s lawyer, Tetiana Bersheda, the wife of Mr. Narmino, Christine, and his son Antoine, a lawyer.

The former director of the judiciary was put on early retirement in September 2017 when the case emerged, two and a half years after a complaint by Mr. Rybolovlev against Yves Bouvier. The Russian billionaire accused the art dealer of having overcharged works and stripped of a billion euros, with the complicity of a common friend, Tania Rappo.

In support of the complaint, Bersheda produced a recording of Rappo and handed her mobile phone over to investigators to listen to the recording. However, this had the unexpected outcome of exposing other compromising material concerning her client, revealing the existence of a network of high officials working for the billionaire, including in the Monegasque police and the keeper of the seals of the Principality.

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