Christian Porter is fighting for controversial Russian oligarch after being hit with sanctions over the invasion of Ukraine
- Christian Porter represents the Russian oligarch in court
- The former attorney general returned to his job as a lawyer
- He will fight for Oleg Deripaska due to government sanctions
Christian Porter will represent a well-known Russian oligarch in court after he was slapped with sanctions over the invasion of Ukraine.
The former attorney general is leading the legal battle of billionaire Oleg Deripaska, who has been identified by a number of Western governments as an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Mr. Deripaska made his fortune by owning the world’s largest aluminum producer and was once considered the richest man in Russia.
Australia, the United Kingdom and the European Union imposed sanctions on him shortly after Russian soldiers crossed Ukraine’s borders in February last year.
He was hit by targeted financial sanctions that limited his ability to hold or move his assets and was banned from traveling to Australia by then Secretary of State Marise Payne.
Former Attorney General Christian Porter (pictured) will represent Russian industrialist Oleg Deripaska, who has challenged government sanctions against him
Mr. Deripaska currently owns a stake in an alumina refinery in Queensland.
He has challenged the sanctions, saying he is “not a person who has performed or performs any activity or function of economic or strategic importance to Russia.” The Western Australian reported.
The government said in legal documents that the oligarch held a Russian diplomatic passport and had previously claimed to represent the Russian government.
The documents also stated that he was “involved in obtaining benefit from or supporting” the Russian government by “owning or controlling companies in the Russian extractive and energy sectors, sectors of strategic importance to the government of Russia’.
Mr Deripaska has strenuously denied that he supported or took advantage of the government of Russia.
He called the allegations “not factually correct” and called the sanctions imposed on him by the former government “legally unreasonable,” “irrational,” illogical,” and “an improper exercise of power.”
Pragma Lawyers’ director Aaron McDonald, Mr. Porter, was to act for Mr. Deripaska.
Deripaska (pictured), who is reportedly close to Vladimir Putin, faced sanctions from the former government after Russia stormed Ukraine’s borders
Mr Porter (pictured left with wife Karen Espiner) returned to his law practice following his resignation from politics in September 2021
Mr Porter returned to the legal profession after his retirement in September. 2021.
The move came nine months after he revealed in a press conference that he was the anonymous man referred to in media reports about a 16-year-old girl allegedly raped in 1988.
Mr Porter denied the allegation and sued the ABC for defamation, eventually dropping the case and awarding no damages to the former Attorney General.
The former politician was Minister of Social Affairs between September 2015 and December 2017 before being promoted to Attorney General.
No date has been set for Mr Deripaska’s case, but it is expected to be held in Perth.