The Proceedings and Moments of TheRybolovlev Case

The Monaco Court of Appeal rejected, on November 12, the motion for a nullity of the proceedings against Yves Bouvier, suspected of fraud in the sale of master paintings to Russian billionaire Rybolovlev. The accusation now to demonstrate the guilt of the art dealer!

Monaco: Justice in embarrassment

The Monaco Court of Appeal rejected, on November 12, the motion for a nullity of the proceedings against Yves Bouvier, suspected of fraud in the sale of master paintings to Russian billionaire Rybolovlev. The accusation now to demonstrate the guilt of the art dealer!

In criminal proceedings, the burden of proof lies with the prosecution. In this case, the Monegasque Justice will have to demonstrate that the Swiss art dealer, Yves Bouvier, charged on February 28, 2015 with “fraud” and “complicity in money laundering”, is guilty of the facts alleged against him. The same is true of Tania Rappo, a Bulgarian-born Swiss girlfriend, once a great friend of the Rybolovlev family, who was prosecuted for “laundering”.

Impartial justice?

Proofs? There are not any. This is the whole problem of this procedure started a little bit by the former Attorney General of the Principality, a certain Jean-Pierre Dreno, whose professional career, from Papeete to Perpignan through Monaco, is staked – it is a height! – some judicial hassle. The Prosecutor General of Monaco was replaced on 1 October by another magistrate above all suspicions, Jacques Dorémieux. It’s happy, but a little late. In any case, it is not enough to give Monaco’s justice and, through it to Prince Albert, all the confidence that an impartial institution should enjoy.

Judicial route

Because it is now a question of getting out of this judicial galley. How? Either Justice is able to bring tangible and material evidence of guilt of Mr. yvesbouvier and Mrs. Rappo before returning them to a trial court; either it can not and the trial, if it takes place, will not fail to turn against those who initiated it. That is to say, in the first place, the Monegasque Justice which, once again, will be brocarded by those who accuse it of amateurism and incompetence; and secondly, Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev, boss of the AS Monaco football club, behind the lawsuits, who will appear as a great manipulator.

Volatile and subjective

However, it is the whole institution that is in trouble. After the false bank documents intended to overwhelm the defendants there is not much left in the file. How to demonstrate that works of art, deemed priceless, have been overvalued? Compared to what ?Their purchase price? The global art market is, by definition, volatile and subjective. A work is worth only the price we want to give it.

These questions haunt Monaco’s Palace of Justice and the Prince’s Palace, where once again we fear that justice will be permanently discredited.

 

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