NY court rejects Cherney’s plea to move case to Israel

Court denied an objection to the court’s jurisdiction from Cherney’s lawyers over a case involving Gliklad, a Ukrainian- born Israeli living in New York.

October 30, 2011 08:08
2 minute read.
Michael Cherney

Michael Cherney 311. (photo credit: Courtesy Michael Cherney blog)

LONDON – The New York Supreme Court has rejected a plea by Russian-born Israeli oligarch Michael Cherney to transfer to Israel a court case involving Israeli oligarch Alexander Gliklad and a disputed $270 million.

On Thursday, the New York court denied an objection to the court’s jurisdiction from Cherney’s lawyers over a case involving Gliklad, a Ukrainian- born Israeli living in New York.

The court reaffirmed an injunction issued in July prohibiting Cherney from prosecuting the case in Israel, finding that there is “no basis to hold that it erred in its prior decision.”

At the time, the judge said that allowing the case to go ahead in Israel “would result in a serious waste of the court’s scarce resources and time.

“Mr. Cherney has proceeded in a way that is not conducive to the timely resolution of this case. A parallel lawsuit in Israel would result in duplicative litigation and may interfere with the court’s adequately enforcing this jurisdiction’s policies and resolving the issues before it,” the presiding judge said in July.

“Weighing up all the factors, the court is of the opinion that New York is an appropriate forum for this litigation and for this reason denies Mr.

Cherney’s motion,” the judge said in his ruling last week rejecting Cherney’s argument that New York was an “inconvenient forum” for him to litigate.

The case was brought to the New York court by Gliklad in 2009. He accuses Cherney of owing him $270m., in accordance with a signed agreement for a stake in the Russian coal-producing organization Kuzbassrazrezugol, a former state enterprise privatized in the early 1990s.

Cherney claims he mistakenly signed the agreement with Gliklad after “consuming a tremendous amount of vodka” during a drinking session in Vienna in 2003.

The New York court also labeled Cherney’s defense as “not probable” to succeed and concluded after a full evaluation of both sides’ factual arguments that Gliklad “established a likelihood of success on the merits.”

Last week, Cherney announced that he would not be testifying at a court case involving Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich and former business partner Boris Berezovsky, currently taking place at the High Court in London.

Cherney was expected to give evidence last week via video link, as a witness for Berezovsky, who alleges that Abramovich “threatened” and “intimidated” him in order to coerce him into selling his stake in Russian oil company Sibneft. He is seeking £3.5 billion from Abramovich.

“Michael Cherney confirms he will not be testifying in the Berezovsky vs Abramovich court case and he will not be commenting further,” a London spokesman for Cherney told The Jerusalem Post last week. “His own lawsuit against Oleg Deripaska is due to be heard in London next April.”

The case is likely to spark huge media attention on Monday, when Abramovich is set to give evidence

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