20.10.2020

Even Dmitry Rybolovlev

Typical of the actors trade influence is built in a triangle. One corner is a customer who wants his interests was accepted by some authoritative decision. Another mediator who is very familiar with the customer, has ties to the authorities and can speak to the important topic of the customer with the right official. Finally, the official, who may accept the desired customer solution, sometimes not even knowing that the mediator, for it has something got.

However, the “king” is now in disgrace, at the same time arrested the former management of the judicial corps of Monaco. The case is rybolovleva associated with the exotic view of the corruption offence of trading in influence. About “trading in influence” (also called “traffic of influence”) in our country, few know – this concept is far from traditional forms of corruption, as bribery or conflict of interest. The easiest way to explain it through comparison with the “use of administrative resources”. Trading in influence is an invisible corruption is the connection passing, usually not using suitcases with cash, but through “the telephone right”, “fixers” and exits to “the right people”.

Trading in influence is one of the controversial elements of the doctrine of criminal law. Often referred to as the corruption of the rich, because the trade effect is quite common at the level of senior leadership of the countries. For example, allegations of traffic of influence was extended in relation to former Brazilian President Lula da Silva, who used his contacts among the foreign politicians to Brazilian construction company Constructora Odebrecht received lucrative contracts abroad. Another former President Nicolas Sarkozy in March of this year also charged with trading in influence.

Lawyer Sarkozy and former French President personally is charged with illegally obtaining information about the investigation of another criminal case opened against him. In exchange for regular progress reports on the investigation of the criminal case against his client, the lawyer Sarkozy promised career growth to assistant General Prosecutor of the French court of cassation. And in the city court of Madrid Spanish prosecutors, by contrast, failed to prove the involvement of the Deputy of the state Duma Vladislav Reznik to the same crime.

In the Rybolovlev case, the investigation claims that the former shareholder of “Uralkali” could use their connections in political circles in Monaco to get the right decisions regarding the art dealer Bouvier, whom the tycoon accused of fraud. Investigation into these events began a year ago. The judges of the Principality got access to sms-correspondence of a lawyer Rybolovlev Tatiana Bersheda. It turned out that the businessman was in an informal relationship with the Minister of justice of Monaco Philippe Narmino. One of the messages of Bersheda offers investigators free pass in the VIP stands of the stadium of FC “Monaco” in the other – gets a thank you from the family of the Minister of justice for the wonderful weekend spent in the chalets of the Russian billionaire.

The criminal nature of trafficking in influence explain the need to limit intangible ties of politicians in election cycles and blocking of informal lobbying. Trading in influence is referred to in the criminal codes of USA, Canada, Brazil, France, Belgium and seven other European countries. Penal code of the Principality of Monaco also provides for liability for active and passive traffic of influence.

But in Russia trade of influence will have criminal consequences. Moreover, it can be found in almost any Ministry. Numerous members of the expert councils of the authorities or public assistant managers, often without explainable source of income, but firmly hold on to their public powers, successfully monetizing them through third-party organizations. The European criminal law Convention on corruption, ratified by Russia, establishes the obligation to criminalize the promise, offering or giving undue advantage to any person who may improperly influence a decision by an official for a fee. Although Russia ratified the Convention twelve years ago, the Criminal law is a manifestation of corruption is still not affected. Recently, the Deputy Anatoly Vyborny introduced to the state Duma a bill on the introduction of coal the responsibility for trafficking in influence, but the fate of the initiative are still unknown.

If Rybolovlev not lucky, under Monegasque law to it threatens till ten years of imprisonment and from €36 000 to €180 000 fine. However, even under judicial control of Monaco he is allowed to move freely, including outside the Principality. The main conclusion from this story may be that actively involved in foreign political and economic projects, the Russians will conduct an audit of their business practices. Acceptable for Moscow, they are, as it turns out, can face imprisonment abroad. And then, always remember: even the number of billionaires abroad you always remain a guest, albeit very rich.

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