Sunday 25 February 2024
Select a region

Government tight-lipped on unlawful 'Abramovich raids' damages

Government tight-lipped on unlawful 'Abramovich raids' damages

Tuesday 15 November 2022

Government tight-lipped on unlawful 'Abramovich raids' damages

Tuesday 15 November 2022

The Government is refusing to disclose how much public money will be have to be paid out in damages after Jersey Police unlawfully raided premises allegedly connected to Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich.

Anonymised court documents released to Express and the JEP on Friday provided confirmation that search warrants – used by police officers seconded to the Economic Crime and Confiscation Unit to raid two properties in April this year – were "obtained unlawfully".

The raids preceded a freeze of more than $7bn-worth of assets suspected to be connected to Mr Abramovich, through a Royal Court order known as a 'saisie judiciaire'.

The documents also showed that, at an unpublicised Royal Court hearing on Wednesday, Chief of Police Robin Smith agreed to apologise to the two applicants – reported by news agency Reuters as being the two companies searched – and pay damages to them from public funds.

However, the exact quantum of damages was only included in a confidential schedule, which was not released to the media.

In an extremely rare step, the names of the lawyers involved in the case were also blacked out.


Pictured: The lawyers involved in the case were not disclosed.

Express asked the government for further information on the public funds that would pay for the damages – including who they would be paid to – but was told that the Treasury Department "will not be commenting on this".

In a statement released on Friday following an urgent senior-level meeting between government officials and representatives from the Law Officers’ Department, Chief Minister Kristina Moore said she had requested an independent review into the searches.

"I should be clear that the Jersey authorities will never make funds available to anyone designated under UK or UN sanctions. Our sanctions authority acts without fear or favour and all sanctioned individuals have access to proper licence arrangements," she added.


Chief Minister orders review into unlawful Abramovich investigation raid

Public money to fund damages for unlawful 'Abramovich raid'

Police admit unlawful search at premises linked to Abramovich, report claims

$400m jet seizure bid exposes Abramovich Jersey web

Reports of new Jersey probe into Abramovich as Chelsea sale passes

Russian assets frozen by Jersey firms top £1bn

Jersey firms froze £700m in Russian assets in March

Jersey seizes '$7bn assets' suspected to be linked to Abramovich

Abramovich yacht 'moved to Jersey company on day of Ukraine invasion'

Police and regulator work to track down Russian wealth

Abramovich: Too "risky" for Switzerland... but not for Jersey?

Sign up to newsletter



Comments on this story express the views of the commentator only, not Bailiwick Publishing. We are unable to guarantee the accuracy of any of those comments.

Once your comment has been submitted, it won’t appear immediately. There is no need to submit it more than once. Comments are published at the discretion of Bailiwick Publishing, and will include your username.

Posted by Keith Marsh on
This is not good enough, and the Chief Minister should make a public statement on how much of OUR money, has been or will be paid out because of this error.
Posted by Richard Milner of leeds on
Not acceptable. Public funds are public funds.
Posted by Paul Sanderson on
Surely under the Freedom of information Lawee have a right to access info held by the public authorities. Or can they weasel their way out of a request
Posted by Bob Wareing-Jones on
No doubt there are legal and privacy reasons as to why the government refuses to disclose the amount paid or to be paid in damages but one does wonder sometimes, where openness and transparency in government begins and ends. Taxpayers might quite reasonably expect to know where their money is being spent after all !
Posted by John Henwood on
The Chief Minister has built her government on a pledge of openness and accountability. Damages awarded in other cases are published, so why is this secret? Where's the openness? This was a major failure for which a person or persons were responsible - who are they and how will they be held to account for this cock-up? Without satisfactory answers to these questions, the claim that our government is open and accountable is no more than meaningless words.
Posted by John Smith on
If it's taxpayers money being used to pay for the government departments incompetence / ineptitude then why isn't the taxpayer entitled to know just how much the incompetence / ineptitude has cost?
Posted by Martin on
Anyone who thinks it is fair to get someone else to pay for their mistakes should be removed from that position!
Posted by Sheila Young on
The usual cover up then, the States of Jersey rule, we are told what they want us to know!
To place a comment please login

You have landed on the Bailiwick Express website, however it appears you are based in . Would you like to stay on the site, or visit the site?