Kommersant appeared to have copies of appeals sent by prefect of the Northern Administrative District (NAD)of Moscow Mitvol to the National Court of Spain and the Central Bank of Cyprus. Mr Mitvol offers those bodies to block the accounts and arrest the real estate, which, according to him, belongs to the State Duma Deputy Speaker Vladimir Zhirinovsky . The fact is that officials of the Moscow city government, which the leader of the Liberal Democratic Party called the "fraudsters", applied filed claims against him totaling at $ 13.5 million. And Mr. Mitvol hopes that this amount may be paid from the assets of the defendant allocated abroad, in case of victory in court. Incidentally, according to recent financial disclosure statements of Vladimir Zhirinovsky, in Russia he has nothing but parliamentary salary.
Mr Mitvol, serving as an individual requests to verify whether the LDPR leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky and his son, State Duma deputy Igor Lebedev has property in Spain and bank accounts in Cyprus. "We have this information," as stated in the text. Mr Mitvol declined to say how he had got such information, but he confirmed he had requested to impose arrest on the alleged assets in support of the claim by "government officials in Moscow against the leader of the Liberal Democratic Party"until they ascertain all the circumstances "of the case. According to him, both instances "are obliged by the law to take action" when they receive these letters.
Recall that the conflict with Mr. Zhirinovsky's with the capital authorities continued starting from fall last year. In October, after meeting with President Dmitry Medvedev, Mr. Zhirinovsky called the metropolitan government "a source of corruption”, while its members - "fraudsters" and said a lot of different unflattering epithets. On April 28, Savelovsky Moscow court found these statements insulting honor and dignity of Mayor Yuri Luzhkov and undermining the business reputation of the Government of Moscow, and ordered the complainants 500 thousand rubles each. After similar speeches of Mr. Zhirinovsky in the Duma on April 20, 27 senior government officials have applied with claims for defamation against the leader of the Liberal Democratic Party, totaling 13.5 million USD.
Mr Mitvol has no doubts the claims will be satisfied, "There is no person in the government of Moscow who is convicted of fraud, what is there more to say." Nevertheless, according to the prefect, it will be problematic to recover the amount from Mr. Zhirinovsky: the politician is being protected by the law "On the Status of members of the Federation Council and State Duma deputy”, and recoveries can only be after the LDPR leader leaves his elected position. 'However, Russian law does not apply on property or accounts in other countries, Mr. Mitvol clarified . And if we win the courts, we will hook up western lawyers. I want them to check whether those assets exist, and if they do, they would help arrest them in the provision of claims”.
Note that, according to disclosure statements unveiled by Vladimir Zhirinovsky, he has got no foreign assets, but there is only profit for the last year of $ 2.5 million rubles and an official housing. It is true that Mr. Zhirinovsky's wife owns five houses and eight flats (without specifying the country), a son of LDPR leader Igor Lebedev has four apartments as well.
Vladimir Zhirinovsky has attempted to protect himself and other members of the proceedings of the capital and other authorities through initiating changes in legislation. Late last week, he introduced to the committee on Constitutional Legislation and State Construction Duma a bill amending the article. 19 “On the Status of the Federation Council member and State Duma deputy. " The amendment proposes to extend the parliamentary immunity not only to criminal and administrative proceedings, but also to legal actions on defense of honor and dignity "for the expression of opinion or expression of the position”. It means that the law will be applied retroactively and , in particular, it will cover the decision of the Savelovsky court in favor of the mayor of Moscow. However, Profiled Committee of the Duma made it clear that the amendments has just a few prospects.
Vladimir Zhirinovsky was not available for comments. But Mr. Lebedev advised the prefect of CAO "to read the law." "If the court imposes a recovery under the civil lawsuit on Vladimir Zhirinovsky, legislative immunity does not apply to it, he said. Let Mr. Mitvol send his letters even though the world; we have passed our income declaration, it is all written in there." Indeed, according to the law "On the Status of the Federation Council members and State Duma deputy”, deputy's immunity extends to defendants in a criminal or administrative proceeding rather than to the civil law relations.
Source: Kommersant № 87 (4387) on 05/19/2010