Judge Teare refused to recuse himself from Ablyazov's case

02 november 2012, 18:41
Judge Teare refused to recuse himself from Ablyazov's case - Mukhtar Ablyazov. Photo by Yaroslav Radlovksiy©
Mukhtar Ablyazov. Photo by Yaroslav Radlovksiy©
Addleshaw Goddard law firm representing former head of Kazakhstan's BTA Bank Mukhtar Ablyazov called for London High Court’s judge Nigel Teare to recuse himself arguing that the judge was biased against its client, but failed, The Lawyer writes.

The lawyers asked to remove the judge on October 25 -- a last minute move -- saying that Teare was biased because he found Ablyazov guilty of being in contempt of court on Febuary 16. Representatives of Addleshaw Goddard referred to the right of ex-head of BTA Bank for fair and impartial trial.

Teare refused the application, saying that Ablyazov had enough opportunities to file the application since February, however he deliberately chose to wait until only a week before the next hearing.

“By not seeking an order that I recuse myself at the pre-trial review on 2 October 2012 Mr Ablyazov represented that he had no objection to my trying the case,” the judge is quoted by The Lawyer as saying in his ruling.

“By that time he had had full knowledge of my findings on the contempt application since February 2012. If ever there was a time when he would be expected to give notice of an application that I should recuse myself from the trial if that were his intention then the pre-trial review was it.”

“I’m not persuaded that the fair-minded observer would conclude that there’s a real possibility that I would be biased,” he said adding that the delay -- that would have occurred should he recuse himself -- was problematic.

As part of this case BTA Bank started with a claim that Ablyazov allegedly misappropriated funds totaling $2 billion. But as the hearings went on this figure has grown to around $6 billion. Ablyazov denies the allegations that he embezzled funds from Kazakhtan's BTA Bank, which he chaired until 2009.

During the 3 years of run up to the 3-month trial between Ablyazov and BTA Bank the judge issued the total of 26 rulings. The trial that involves more than 50 lawyers is due to begin on Tuesday, November 6.

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