On Monday London’s High Court put an end to the scandalous process of the London mansion of a former member of the Federation Council, Russian businessman Vladimir Slutsker and his ex-wife Olga. The Court acknowledged that a house worth £ 40 million ($65 million) is a “project” Mrs. Slutsker and home to her and their children, and, therefore, it must be in her trust.
In the Court, Vladimir Slutsker argued that he had been “hoodwinked” into the trust deal over the London mansion being unregistered in the documents of the mansion that would deprive him of his 50 per cent interest in the property under Russian law. He argued that the property was “joint family property” for it had been purchased by common family’s money. Olga Slutsker declared that all the investments in the mansion were her own merit. Moreover, there is only her name in all the papers.
This London mansion of the Slutskers almost became the reason of a scandal last autumn when Olga Slutsker was preparing for participation in parliamentary elections as a candidate of the "United Russia" party. Then a number of journalists and oppositional politicians suspected her of concealment of the income and property, having attributed to her, in particular, possession of the mansion in London.
That time the possession of the property in London served as the basis for madam Slutsker’s appointment as Chairman of the Public Council under the Commissioner of the Presidential Children's Rights and the Commission for monitoring of Russian children’s state abroad. The children’s rights commissioner for the President, Pavel Astakhov, considered her victory quite a ground for claiming: “Olga is a real mother, a fighter for her rights; she will be much more sufficient than anyone else for representing the Public Council”.
To remind, that the reason for the senator and his wife’s divorce in 2009 was her affair with the general director of Gazpromneft Aleksander Dyukov. According to the serving staff of Slutsker’s house, almost every week she flew for him where Zenit played. Besides, Olga Slutsker and Dyukov had regular meetings in a rental apartment on the Vernandsky Avenue and in the Ritz-Karlton hotel on Tverskaya street in Moscow. For the sake of the children, Vladimir Slutsker was putting a blind eye on that. But after Olga had brought her lover home and had been having a good time with him for two days right within the sight of the service staff, the situation became irreversible. The senator could not stand it anymore.
After the divorce of the spouses, long judicial proceedings on guardianship over two common children began. In March 2010, the Presnensky Court decided to leave them with their father. Olga Slutsker filed an appeal and then refused it for the sake of “psychological health of the children”. However the process was renewed later. In May 2011, the Khoroshevsky Court in Moscow decided that the son and the daughter of the Slutskers were to remain with their mother. But at the end of the year, the juridical proceedings on the same case began in Tel-Aviv. Then the children’s appeal to protect their rights and let them live with their father was read out loud at the court.
As for the property lawsuits of the ex-spouses, the multi-million dollar mansion is not the only dispute matter for the Slutskers. For example, recently the fate of the collection of works of art for which Olga Slutsker had applied was solved. At the end of August, the Moscow Presnensky Court, which was judging the case of division of the property, decided to leave her the biggest part of the collection in the total cost of $30 million.
One more lawsuit is waiting for former senator soon. However, it is not with his wife involved but with the journalist Oleg Lurye who filed a statement to the Moscow City Court for rehabilitation and compensation of approximately $ 3.5 thousand for the unjustified prosecution for libel. In March 2009, the Moscow Tverskoy Court sentenced Lurye to eight years of imprisonment having found him guilty of extortion of money from Slutsker for not publishing the information discrediting his wife. According to the prosecution, for not posting the provocative material, Laurye demanded $ 50 thousand. Later the Moscow City Court reduced the sentence to four years. Currently, Lurye was released and he asks to compensate the costs for the services of the lawyer of the criminal proceedings.
n 1987-1994 Slutsker headed Ronar Projects British company that supplied the USSR and then CIS countries with industrial equipment. Reports say that in 1992 Slutsker " got engaged in oil and metal trading and sold both food production and construction equipment and technologies." Slutsker was appointed vice-president ofIntermedbank founded in 1993. In February 1998 its bank charter was cancelled for "violation of bank legislation''.
Source: Kommersant-Vlast, 26 February 2002
In November 2004 Slutsker was elected president of the Russian Jewish Congress. Reports say vice-mayor of Moscow Vladimir Resin masterminded that, as he was called " Slutsker's patron in politics."
Source: InoSMI.Ru, 1 March 2005
In July 2005, being president of the Russian Jewish Congress, Slutsker was elected vice-president of the European Jewish Congress during session of the Executive Committee of the EJC in Paris. However, in November 2005 he resigned as president of the Russian Jewish Congress "due to the fact that his views on the further development of the organization differed from views of other members of the presidium." It was rumoured that one of the reasons for Slutsker's resignation was his conflict with rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, who at that time was the chief rabbi of Moscow. Reports said that they had quarrelled about headquarters building of the Russian Jewish Congress and, according to some, Slutsker was involved in Goldschmidt's deportation in 2005. Analysts considered their rivalry as manifestation of the struggle between oligarchs "for control and influence in the organizations that represent the Jews of the country."
Source: Novye izvestiya 14 November 2005
On 10 April 2005 general Anatoly Trofimov and his wife were killed before the very eyes of their 4-year-old daughter. Trofimov was security chief of Finvest group founded by Vladimir Slutsker and Hambardzum Safaryan.
The Federal Security Service analysed phone calls made by Trofimov and his wife and came to the conclusion that former officer of the Federal Service special units Balashov, now Vladimir Slutsker's employee, had most probably committed the murder.
Investigators gave an account of the conflict between the owners of Finvest in which the retired general unexpectedly got involved. Vladimir Slutsker suspected Hambartsum Safaryan of concealing his profit share. The relationship between shareholders got strained. For three years Trofimov, who was brought to the company by Slutsker, stayed away from any internal conflicts as he did not to put under threat his personal life and his family. But on 14 March 2004 after a phone call from an unknown well-wisher a dummy bomb was found in the attic of the Slutsker's mansion. It made quite a stir and rumours about "attempted assassination of the prominent member of parliament " were going around. Trofimov did not resist saying to "the prominent member of parliament" that his frame-up had been made in a very stupid manner. In response Slutsker blamed Trofimov for "colluding with Safaryan" and asked him to return a card of assistant member of the Federation Council and get out.
Three weeks later officers of the Federal Security Service detained two Slutsker's security guards who confessed to planting the bomb in the attic by Slutsker's order. They also claimed that Slutsker had been present at that.
At night after the detention unknown attackers smashed the glass of Trofimov's car and thus tried to make him go outside the house. Four days later Trofimov was killed by ''a man with saltatory gait'' very similar to the gait of Slutsker's chauffeur.
Slutsker was the only person who refused to give any testimony to the murder pleading his parliamentary status.
Source: Antikompromat, 5 December 2006
In 2005 director-general of Alice Invest publishing house, editor of VTV TV-company and chief editor of Jeans magazine Oleg Lourie published online an article that covered Slutskers' business and pointed out his involvement in the murder of FSS general Anatoly Trofimov. Lourie was reported to demand 25 thousand dollars of Slutsker "for removing materials from the site ". He allegedly got 15 thousand.
Source: RIA Novosti, 01 February 2008
In 2007 Lourie was prosecuted, but this fact became known only in 2008. Lourie himself regarded that as intimidation. He did not admit his guilt and in anticipation of being arrested he wrote in his blog that "a certain high-ranking official had instituted proceedings against him" and that it had been"his revenge for a number of articles published three or four years ago". Lourie stated that publications had not been "directly related" to those who sent him to prison.
On 26 January 2008 Lourie was summoned to the committee of inquiry. There he was detained on suspicion of extortion and fraud. On the same day he was indicted for fraud and Moscow court gave sanction to his arrest. On 20 June 2008 Lourie's case reached the trial.
Source: RIA Novosti, 20 June 2008
In 2006 Slutsker and businessman Aleksei Kozlov were business partners. They were co-owners of Finvest company. In 2007 Kozlov intended to go out of the business and withdraw his assets. As journalist Olga Romanova, Kozlov's wife, stated, "Kozlov made such a decision because of the murder of the Federal Security Service officer and security chief of the company Anatoly Trofimov and his wife, as well as because of a conflict between major shareholders."
According to Romanova, when Kozlov let Slutsker know of his plans, Slutsker threatened to "make short work of him''. In summer 2007 Kozlov was arrested on charges of fraud. In March 2009 Moscow court found Kozlov guilty and sentenced him to eight years of imprisonment. Kozlov pled not guilty and stated that the conflict between him and Slutsker should have been settled in civil court, but Slutsker had turned it into a criminal case by clever string-pulling.
In 2010 Olga Romanova applied to the Prosecutor General's office. She stated that the charge against her husband Aleksei Kozlov had been trumped up by Vladimir Slutsker' order. Slutsker refused to comment on her statement. Kozlov, who was at the moment serving his term in the colony, said he was willing to wait for a criminal case against former member of the Federation Council Vladimir Slutsker "for years''.
Source: Gazeta.Ru, 13 September 2010
In September 2011 Aleksei Kozlov was released from custody in the courtroom. His case was submitted for reconsideration. The Supreme Court allowed an appeal of Slutsker's lawyers. The judge held that in 2009 Kozlov had been prosecuted illegally and thus should be released.
Source: RBK, 20 September 2011