Russian aluminum tycoon Oleg Deripaska, who became famous for his controversial statement that his reputation is “as clean as a white paper,” faces money laundering allegations from Spain.
Spain’s High Court has sent the criminal case against Deripaska to the Russian General Prosecutor’s office. According to the Spanish newspaper El Mundo, the Spanish High Court judge Fernando Andreo said he decided to bring the case to Russia because “it is in this country the Izmailovo criminal group was founded, formed and where the group carried out their illegal activities. It is in Russia the orders were given and the money laundering was planned.” Deripaska and his former business partner, Iskander Makhmudov, are suspected of money laundering (for 4 million euro) and are believed to have connections with the Russian mafia in Spain.
A spokesman from Deripaska’s company, Basic Element, said they were satisfied with the Spanish court’s decision to send this case to Russia because in his opinion this means the prosecution did not have enough evidence to prove Deripaska’s wrongdoings. “We are sure that the Russian courts will affirm this position and this mistake will be resolved,” said a Basic Element statement.
It’s quite probable that the Russian court will be on the side of the aluminum tycoon. Especially knowing his close ties with the so-called “Family” — a clan of corrupted top officials of the former Yeltsin administration. He had been already supported once in the similar case. According to the Spanish agency ABC, in 2010 after Deripaska’s questioning “Madrid became even more convinced about the businessman’s guilt” but the Russian investigator in his final statement said that for Russia Deripaska is only the witness not a defendant.
The Spanish court keeps silence on the date of the probable second Deripaska interrogation. This interrogation can heavily hit Rusal’s share price. Its last two years decline seriously upsets “The Family” and the largest Russian banks invested in the Rusal IPO in 2009.