A judge has ordered tech giant Google to reveal the emails of a Russian oligarch’s son as part of a huge legal fight, dubbed as Britain’s biggest ever divorce battle.
The emails are from Temur Ahkmedov, the son of billionaire Farkhad Akhmedov.
The oil and gas magnate was ordered to pay £450million as part of a divorce battle with his ex-wife Tatiana Akhmedova.
Ms Akhmedova alleges that her former husband transferred assets to their son to avoid paying the 2016 settlement. She is taking her son to court in London.
She claims the settlement ‘almost entirely unsatisfied’ and has attempted to seize Farkhad’s mega yacht Luna, which is worth more than £350million, in lieu of payment.
A judge sitting in London said she was within her rights to ask Google for access to her son’s emails.
And now, according to Bloomberg, US judge Virginia M. DeMarchi has agreed and ordered the internet giant to hand over Temur Ahkmedov’s messages.
The emails are from Temur Ahkmedov (pictured left), the son of billionaire Farkhad Akhmedov. Ms Akhmedova (pictured right), who won a £450million divorce settlement from Farkhad, alleges that her former husband transferred assets to their son to avoid paying the 2016 settlement
The website reports that the information from the emails will be used to learn whether Temur assisted his father in the fraudulent transfer of assets.
In a filing to a court in San Jose, Ms Akhmedova claims the emails will help in her London-based case against her former husband.
According to Bloomberg, Google had argued against the disclosure, saying it faced legal liability for improperly disclosing the information – saying it was against US law to disclose the emails without the owner’s consent.
But Judge DeMarchi reportedly said there was no evidence Mr Akhemdov was not the owner of the accounts and he had ‘expressly consented to production of their contents’.
The oil and gas magnate was ordered to pay £450million as part of a divorce battle with his ex-wife Tatiana Akhmedova
The ruling comes ahead of a new hearing in London later this month.
Ms Akmedova is taking her son to court in the UK after accusing him of helping his father to hide assets.
The 52-year-old secured a landmark £453million payout from her ex-husband Russian oligarch Farkhad Akhmedov, 64, following the end of their 10-year marriage in 2016.
However the oil and gas tycoon has been slow to release the funds and been found in contempt of court, after claiming he does not recognise the High Court’s ruling.
Akmedova, a British citizen, now believes that her 27-year-old son Temur is helping his father to hide assets from British authorities.
A raid on Temur’s London flat last month seized 58 electronic devices – four of which were found to contain information relevant to the case, court papers show.
Mrs Justice Knowles authorised the raid in the hopes of obtaining pertinent information after Temur himself admitted to having destroyed any relevant electronic documents, The Times reported.
Knowles said that there was ‘clear evidence’ that Temur possessed ‘incriminating documents’ and a ‘real possibility’ that he would destroy them if the raid had not been carried out.
The judge added that Temur’s actions were likely to ’cause serious damage’ to his mother’s ability to ‘pursue the proceedings and obtain the judgement to which she claims to be entitled’.
The Times reported that Temur’s partner and four-year-old daughter had been left in tears during the 10-hour raid, citing sources close to Temur.
Ms Akhmedova, 52, secured a landmark £453million payout from her ex-husband Russian oligarch Farkhad Akhmedov, 64, following the end of their 10-year marriage in 2016. Pictured: The luxury yacht which was seized amid claims Mr Akhmedov had been slow to pay the settlement
Ms Akhmedova has gone to great lengths to try and claim the money she was granted in the ruling, attempting to seize Farkhad’s mega yacht Luna (pictured), which is worth more than £350million in lieu of payment.
Others living in the luxury West London building looked on as the team wearing masks and gloves spent hours searching the property and its surroundings.
An underground car park and wine cellar were also searched for any evidence that Temur has helped his father to stop his money from being seized by the British courts.
Temur, a London commodities trader, does not live at the apartment and sources said he had no idea the search was going to take place.
Friends said he is outraged by the behaviour of his mother and her lawyers, describing it as like ‘something out of a totalitarian regime’.
One friend said the luxury flat was left looking ‘like a crime scene.’
Mobile phones, memory sticks and even a Peppa Pig game were seized by the team acting on the orders of the High Court.
A friend said: ‘Temur is furious that his young child was put through this trauma because of the actions of his own mother.’
Earlier this year Temur was dragged into what has been described as Britain’s costliest divorce.
His mother has gone to great lengths to try and claim the money she was granted in the ruling, attempting to seize Farkhad’s mega yacht Luna, which is worth more than £350million in lieu of payment.
After numerous legal battles stretching over a year, a court in Dubai ruled that Akhmedov was the rightful owner and allowed him to keep the super yacht.
Akhmedova was handed ownership of the couple’s £20million Surrey home and an art collection worth more than £30million.
A three-week hearing into Akmedova’s claims against her son is due to begin at the High Court on November 30.
Commenting on the Google judgement, a spokesman for Temur Akhmedov said: ‘This case and ruling are the latest evidence of the desperation of Tatiana and Burford Capital’s to find ‘evidence’ against him which simply does not exist. Despite their vastly expensive wild goose chase around the world’s courts, they know Temur has nothing to hide
‘Yet they continue in their attempts to drag him into his mother’s wrongful and misguided case against his father, seemingly with the aim of intimidating and trying to smear his good name.
‘Recently they conducted a futile raid and search of his former London home armed with a secret London court order. Their search yielded items including an old PlayStation and a children’s Peppa Pig computer game belonging to his four year old daughter.
‘As a result of this latest Google hearing, Temur hopes his mother and her backers will enjoy reading the contents of his old High School email account.’