An exiled Russian tycoon is planning to freeze $12 billion of Russia's assets abroad if there's no agreement over his compensation claim. Paul Chapman reports.
Russian tycoon Sergei Pugachev once boasted President Vladimir Putin among his associates. That was before he fell out of favour and fled to France where he's now in exile. But Pugachev isn't taking the carve-up of his business empire quietly. He's threatening action to freeze $12 billion dollars of Russian assets abroad if the Kremlin doesn't reach a compromise on his compensation claim for the same amount. (SOUNDBITE)(Russian) RUSSIAN TYCOON SERGEI PUGACHEV SAYING: "It's an enormous amount of money and property, billions, all sorts of assets - cash and other assets - which don't have immunity." Pugachev's lawyers say he's willing to stay the course in what may be a long-drawn out battle. (SOUNDBITE)(Russian) NICHOLAS CHERRYMAN, LAWYER WITH KING AND SPALDING LAW FIRM, SAYING: "You've got to remember the reason why Mr Pugachev left, because he was in fear, very real fear, for his life. It's not very pleasant finding black boxes underneath your car in circumstances that Mr Pugachev finds himself in, in a very serious fight with the Russian state." Pugachev says Russia pursued a multi-pronged attack on him, his family and his investments which forced him to flee.