In brief

Bouvier-Rybolovlev case: Jean-Pierre Dreno and Dmitry Rybolovlev cleared of invasion of privacy allegations

tribunal-de-monaco
© Monaco Tribune / Paul Charoy

The case against the President of AS Monaco and Monaco’s former public prosecutor has been dismissed.

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The news was announced by Monaco-Matin on Tuesday 28 November. Almost nine years after the events, there seems to be another favourable outcome in the so-called Bouvier-Rybolovlev or Monacogate affair for the Russian billionaire and owner of AS Monaco, along with the Principality’s former public prosecutor.

The case originally pitted Yves Bouvier, a Swiss art dealer, against Dmitry Rybolovlev, who accused the art dealer of swindling him over the sale of masterpieces. And in the middle was Tania Rappo, a Principality resident and friend of both men, who in fact introduced them to each other.

The friendship lasted until 2015, when Dmitry Rybolovlev filed a complaint against Yves Bouvier, but also against Tania Rappo, who he accused of having taken advantage of the situation “and profiting immeasurably,” according to Monaco-Matin. The allegations were refuted by Ms. Rappo.

Two years later, examining magistrate Edouard Levrault called for an expert examination of the telephone belonging to Dmitry Rybolovlev’s lawyer, Tetiana Bersheda. Ms Bersheda was said to have provided the Sûreté Publique with a recording proving the alleged collusion between Tania Rappo and Yves Bouvier. But the audio file in question, again according to Monaco-Matin, is a 10-minute recording made during a private dinner at Dmitry Rybolovlev’s home in Monaco on 23 February 2015.

This led Tania Rappo to file a complaint not only against Tetiana Bersheda, but also against both Dmitry Rybolovlev and Monaco’s former public prosecutor, Jean-Pierre Dreno. She accused the former of violating her right to privacy and family life, and the other two of collusion.

This part of the Monacogate affair came to an end, at least in part, on 15 November 2023: the investigating magistrates in charge of the case dismissed the charges, ruling in favour of Dmitry Rybolovlev and Jean-Pierre Dreno.

Tetiana Bersheda, on the other hand, now faces charges in the criminal court. “Ms Bersheda has always denied any wrongdoing in this matter, and Monaco’s public prosecutor has acknowledged this by requesting a total dismissal. We are absolutely confident that the court will confirm Ms Bersheda’s innocence,” Tetiana Bersheda’s lawyers told Monaco-Matin.

Régis Bergonzi, Jean-Pierre Dreno’s lawyer, believes: “This decision will help put an end to my client’s distress and allow him to fully regain his reputation. It is a powerful testimony of the ability of justice to prevail, of truth to emerge and of innocence to be recognised, even when faced with the considerable extremes of this investigation.”

Lawyers Thomas Giaccardi and Martin Reynaud also commented to the Monegasque daily on the dismissal of the case against their client, Dmitry Rybolovlev: “There were no grounds for prosecution. The examining magistrates recognised this, and made the only logical decision. There will be no trial against Dmitry Rybolovlev, who is completely exonerated.” The AS Monaco President who, according to Monaco Matin, has had some health issues in recent months, now has one less legal problem to worry about.