A Moscow court has ruled in favor of a Russian-Israeli businessman wanted by federal tax authorities.
Leonid Nevzlin, the major shareholder of the Group Menatep Ltd., won his case against Russia’s Federal Tax Service, which claimed that he owed $1.1 million in unpaid taxes.
Nevzlin, who has lived in Israel since 2003, brought the lawsuit a year ago after tax inspectors ignored his request to issue a notice that he was debt free. A lower court ruled that tax inspectors have a right to refuse to deal with a person “who is under an international arrest warrant,” Moscow’s Kommersant business daily reported.
Nevzlin has been engaged in a lengthy judicial battle with the Russian prosecutor general. Moscow has officially accused Nevzlin of tax evasion, murder and attempted murder, and has sought his extradition since January 2004.
The prosecutor general has challenged Nevzlin’s Israeli citizenship in Israel’s High Court of Justice on the grounds that the businessman concealed that he was a fugitive from Russia. Wednesday’s ruling in Moscow will be an aggravating factor for the prosecutor’s office.
Another major shareholder of the Group Menatep Ltd., Michail Khodorkovsky, has been sentenced to eight years in prison.