After Spending Nearly £18 Million in Courts, Gudavadze Vows Poverty
July 1, 2010
On June 28, 2010, Inna Gudavadze filed a sworn statement in UK Court begging the judge to release some of the funds tied up in the battle for the share of inheritance of Badri Patarkatsishvili, former Russian oligarch and philanthropist.
"We do not currently have the cash available to fund our costs" defending claims of Boris Berezovsky, Gudavadze complains.
Gudavadze was Badri's estranged wife at the time he collapsed in her home in Surrey, a plush suburb of London. The pair had been separated since 1994, pursuant to a written separation agreement. In 1997 Badri married Olga Safonova, with whom he had already had a son David.
Berezovsky, once Gudavadze's closest ally and reported puppeteer, is suing her over Badri's estate. Berezovsky, formerly one of the richest Russian oligarchs is wanted by the Interpol on international arrest warrants issued by Brazil and Russian Federation. Charges against Berezovsky include massive fraud, money laundering, transnational financial crimes and participation in organized crime. (Berezovsky Backgrounder)
"If Badri had been alive and had fallen out with BB so as to lead to litigation between him and BB of the sort which BB has instituted, I believe that Badri should, at least in the absence of other ready cash, have been able to use what on its face was ready cash belonging to him" Gudavadze's plea to the court continues. It follows therefore, according to Gudavadze's court filing, that she, Gudavadze, should also be entitled to a slice of that pie.
Gudavadze's statement is laced with obvious contradictions.
On one hand she proclaims that one of her adversaries, Joseph Kay, Badri's cousin and executor of his will, obtained a judgment in Georgia against her "by reason of the bias or corruption of the Georgian courts." On the other hand, throughout her affidavit she relies on Georgian law, asserting that according to that law, she is "entitled to a 50% interest in all property worldwide acquired by Badri and [her] during [their] marriage".
Despite Gudavadze's efforts to invalidate Badri's testamentary documents, signed and notarized in New York, Georgian trial and appellate courts unanimously held that the documents were valid and authentic in every way and appointed Kay executor of Badri's will. American corporation JWL Entertainment Group Inc. was named executor of Badri's estate.
Gudavadze also claims that Badri's testamentary documents, ruled authentic by Georgian courts, are "forgeries". Yet, she attaches these documents as proof that she and her two daughters would be entitled to a lion share of Badri's wealth.
Gudavadze complains about Berezovsky's "ill-founded claims", "misrepresentation and undue influence" in "forcing" her to sign the infamous agreement dividing Badri's assets 50/50 before Badri's body was even buried. Yet, in the same breath she relies on Berezovsky for providing her evidence "which reinforces [her] case that the [testamentary] documents were forged."
"Gudavadze statement is very peculiar", said one lawyer familiar with the case. "She is clearly tyring to have it both ways."
No more money to pay lawyers
The statement asserts that Gudavadze thus far spent £17.6 million in legal fees and costs. She currently owes her UK lawyers approximately £850.000 (US$1.2 million) in April's and May's legal fees, according to the affidavit.
"I am informed by my solicitors that they estimate that the costs of litigation [in UK alone] will be in the region of £13.5 - 16.5 million" (US$19 to 24 million), says Gudavadze.
"Inna's lawyers are having a field day" says Sophie Kay, former wife of Joseph Kay in a recent TV interview.
Gudavadze enumerates litigations which she is conducting in New York, Liechtenstein, Gibraltar and Georgia. She even filed an official claim in UNCITRAL, a United Nations judicial body, against the Republic of Georgia. In the US, Gudavadze lists her and her daughters' lawsuit against Kay, his attorney Emanuel Zeltser and several others.
Interestingly, Gudavadze's statement is demurely silent about a high-profile wrongful death action pending against her in the New York Supreme Court against. In this action multiple plaintiffs allege that she, in conspiracy with Berezovsky, murdered Badri in an attempt (albeit unsuccessful so far) to wrest control of Badri's fortune. (See: Gudavadze, Berezovsky, Implicated in Death of Badri Patarkatsishvili, Lawsuit Alleges)
Gudavadze also does not mention a lawsuit in Miami Florida by Fisher Island, a world-renowned playground for rich and famous, against her proxy Andrew Baker, a Liechtenstein self-styled "trustee". Baker, a UK solicitor, worked as a consultant for Kay but after Badri's death switched sides and declared that Kay's assets now belong to Gudavadze. (See: Liechtenstein Trustee Andrew Baker Accused of Fraud, Money Laundering in US Courts Gudavadze Link Seen)
In the US Gudavadze has suffered a series of defeats. Her attempts to freeze Kay's funds in one litigation ended up in fiasco. In another case New York judge ordered her lawyers investigated by the District Attorney's Office for raiding the premises of New York landmark restaurant Ajna, formerly Buddha Bar. (See: Supreme Court Judge Refers Inna Gudavadze's Lawyer for Criminal Investigation)
Recently the same judge ordered Gudavadze's lawyers to cease and desist from referring themselves as lawyers for Ajna Bar, New York's landmark restaurant, formerly known as Buddha Bar. (See: NY Court Orders Gudavadze's Lawyers to Cease Calling Themselves "Attorneys for" Buddha Bar)
In Miami, Gudavadze's lawyers attempted to have the case against Baker thrown out of court but failed.
Gudavadze does not impart how much these failed attempts in US courts set her back but lawyers familiar with her court endeavors estimate that these probably ran into a hefty seven digit figure.