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Swiss drop Russian oligarch's case against art dealer
AS Monaco President Dmitry Rybolovlev looks on during the French League Cup final football match between Monaco (ASM) and Paris Saint-Germain (PSG). NICOLAS TUCAT / AFP.



GENEVA (AFP).- Swiss prosecutors confirmed Tuesday they are dropping a case brought by Russian oligarch Dmitry Rybolovlev against a top art dealer he accused of swindling him out of hundreds of millions of dollars.

Rybolovlev, president of the AS Monaco football club, has alleged Swiss art dealer Yves Bouvier charged him inflated prices on dozens of works he acquired for more than $2.1 billion (1.9 billion euros).

He has brought cases against the dealer in Monaco, Singapore and Switzerland.

Swiss newspaper Le Temps reported Monday that Geneva's top prosecutor Yves Bertossa had decided to drop the Swiss side of the case, after Rybolovlev lost before a Monaco appeals court in December 2019.

Bertossa's office told AFP on Tuesday the prosecution had "announced to the parties its intention to close the case".

It provided no further details, but according to Le Temps, the parties have until January 30 to oppose the closure.

Rybolovlev had commissioned Bouvier to help build up an art collection to rival a small museum -- including works by Van Gogh, Picasso, Monet, Rodin, Matisse and Leonardo da Vinci's "Salvator Mundi".

Their relationship soured when Rybolovlev accused Bouvier of overcharging him.

The Russian later sold the da Vinci at auction in 2017 for a record $450 million.

Rybolovlev was meanwhile himself charged with bribery and influence peddling and Monaco's justice minister was forced to retire over claims he accepted bribes.

He made his fortune in the fertiliser industry after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Forbes business magazine ranks him number 224 on its list of the world's richest people for 2020, with a net worth of $6.7 billion.


© Agence France-Presse










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