Russian Oligarchs

Anzhelika Khan Wife of Oligarch German Khan loses 2022 UK sanctions challenge

Anzhelika Khan Wife of Oligarch German Khan

On Tuesday, Ukrainian-Russian businessman German Khan’s spouse Anzhelika Khan faced a setback in her attempt to reverse British sanctions placed on her in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The ruling underscores the significant challenge for individuals seeking to contest their sanction status.

Oligarch German Khan
Oligarch German Khan

Anzhelika Khan became subject to British sanctions in April 2022, following her husband German’s designation. German Khan, the co-founder of investment group LetterOne and valued at $8.4 billion by Forbes magazine, was sanctioned the month prior to his wife.

She contended that she had no involvement in Russian political affairs and wielded no sway over the Russian government, arguing that subjecting her to sanctions was unlawful.

However, Judge Sara Cockerill dismissed her arguments in a written ruling, asserting that the sanctions were effective in signaling disapproval to Ms. Anzhelika Khan and, by extension, to the Russian government and the global community. The ruling emphasized the UK’s stance against actions that destabilize Ukraine.

Anzhelika Khan’s legal team expressed disappointment with the verdict and pledged to vigorously challenge the lawfulness of her designation through the appeals process.

A spokesperson from Britain’s Foreign Office expressed satisfaction with the judgment, highlighting its significance in affirming the strength of the UK’s sanctions framework.

This case adds to a series of unsuccessful attempts to overturn British sanctions, with previous court decisions underscoring the political objectives of the sanctions regime.

The Court of Appeal is set to deliver a verdict next week on a case brought by Eugene Shvidler, an associate of billionaire Roman Abramovich, marking the first substantive appellate examination of British sanctions imposed in response to Russia’s actions in Ukraine.

Helen Taylor, a legal researcher at the pressure group Spotlight on Corruption, remarked that Tuesday’s ruling raises important questions about how individual designations contribute to the government’s overarching goal of deterring Putin.

“While the courts rightly hesitate to challenge the government’s decisions, there is a pressing need for a more thorough examination of how sanctions are being implemented, from the strategy behind designations to the decisions on licensing and subsequent enforcement,” she added.

In her ruling, Cockerill highlighted that German Khan had bestowed “very substantial gifts” upon his wife over several years, including shares in four properties and financial gifts amounting to hundreds of millions of pounds.

One particular gift, which Cockerill noted “represents a significant proportion of the amounts given over the years,” was made shortly before German Khan was sanctioned in early March 2022.

She further commented, “There are also legitimate questions regarding whether a meaningful investigation has been conducted into the substantial wealth transfer that German Khan made to his wife Anzhelika Khan just before the imposition of sanctions.”

Anzhelika Khan : UK Sanctions 2022

The UK government has today (21 April 2022) announced 26 new sanctions, targeting Russian military leaders, and individuals and entities supporting the Russian military. The sanctions follow “intelligence which reveals intentional bombing of critical and civilian infrastructure in Mariupol”.

The sanctions will be introduced under either the “standard” process or the “fast-track” process, with the latter being used for individuals and entities being targeted “in alignment with global partners from the G7 and the EU”.

Individuals and entities sanctioned under the standard process include:

  • Anzhelika Khan, wife of UK-sanctioned oligarch German Khan.
  • Oleg Belozyorov, CEO and Board Chairman of Russian Railways, which plays a key role in transporting Russian military equipment.
  • Ilya Kiva, expelled Ukrainian MP, who has supported Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
  • Russian military leaders, including:
    • Lt Col Azatbek Omurbekov, the Commanding Officer of the unit that occupied Bucha, where there have been reports of war crimes.
    • Colonel General Andrey Serdyukov, Russian Commander Airborne Forces.
    • Maj Gen Valery Flyustikov, Russian Commander Special Operations Forces.
    • Col Gen Nikolay Bogdanovsky, First Deputy Chief of the General Staff.

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