Monaco (AFP)

The cancellation by the Monegasque justice of the procedure for swindle brought in 2015 by the Russian billionaire Dmitri Rybolovlev against the Swiss art dealer Yves Bouvier was confirmed Wednesday by a decree of the Court of revision of Monaco.

"Total and final victory in Monaco", welcomed in a press release Mr. Bouvier. "Monaco has proven that corruption has no place in the Principality," he added, complaining of having endured "five years of legal battles and defamatory campaigns".

Cancellation "for purely procedural reasons, not by an absence of charges against Mr. Yves Bouvier", counter-attacked Mr. Rybolovlev by the voice of his lawyers Hervé Témime and Thomas Giaccardi, recalling that Swiss justice remained capture.

In January 2015, the owner of the AS Monaco football club accused Yves Bouvier of having defrauded him by reselling him with exorbitant margins a collection of paintings worthy of a museum - including Leonardo's "Salvator Mundi" Vinci, since sold for 450 million dollars, but also Picasso, Matisse, Van Gogh ...

He had filed a complaint in Monaco for scams committed according to him on the occasion of three transactions, a De Vinci, a Gauguin and a Rothko. His lawyers also seized Swiss justice for 38 other transactions, tainted by fraud, breach of trust and money laundering. "The investigation is progressing" in these files, they assure.

On the other hand, "the procedure in Monaco therefore ends", they admit.

On December 12, in a rare twist, the proceedings against Mr. Bouvier had been canceled from A to Z by the Council Chamber of the Monaco Court of Appeal on the grounds that it was unfair and had been conducted "in a biased manner and unfair "due in particular to the relations between Mr. Rybolovlev's lawyers, the investigators and the attorney general at the time.

Revealed during the investigation into Mr. Rybolovlev's complaint, these relationships have since resulted in him and several senior figures in the principality being charged.

"The attacks by (Mr. Rybolovlev) have nothing to do with the role of Mr. Bouvier as an art dealer. Mr. Rybolovlev artificially wanted to depreciate the value of his collection as part of his divorce proceedings," says Me Luc Brossolet, one of Mr. Bouvier's lawyers.

"He also wanted to punish Mr. Bouvier for refusing to corrupt the Swiss judges of his divorce, and hoped by throwing him in prison with the complicity of the Monegasque authorities of the time to monopolize the free port of Singapore and its technology for build one similar to Vladivostok ", still according to Me Luc Brossolet.

© 2020 AFP