Sibir today announces the launch of High Court proceedings against, amongst others, two former directors.
High Court Proceedings
Sibir and two of its subsidiaries (the "Sibir Claimants") have commenced proceedings in the High Court in connection with the unauthorized payments which were referred to in its announcement dated February 19, 2009.
The proceedings are against former directors, Chalva Tchigirinski and Henry Cameron, Gradison Consultants Inc (a company owned by Mr. Tchigirinski) and Derbent Management Limited. Mr. Cameron has, as a result of his conduct, been dismissed by the Company with immediate effect.
The total amount claimed by the Sibir Claimants is currently not less than US $328 million but it is anticipated that the total claims will, in due course, rise to approximately US $400 million.
The High Court has granted a worldwide freezing order under which, pending a full hearing of the claims, Mr. Tchigirinski is prevented from disposing of his assets to the extent the value of his remaining assets falls below £250 million. Gradison is prevented from disposing of its assets to the extent the value of its remaining assets falls below £120 million.
As a further result of the ongoing investigation into the Unauthorized Payments, the Company has informed the Financial Services Authority (the "FSA") that it believes that the price of its shares may have been manipulated between approximately October 16, 2008 and October 31, 2008 and that a significant number of the transactions in its shares between those dates was conducted using money that had been taken from the Company.
Sibir expects that its shares will remain suspended from trading on AIM for the foreseeable future.
Stuard Detmer, Acting CEO, Sibir Energy, commented, "The launch of the legal proceedings announced today underlines our determination to recover on behalf of our shareholders the funds that were taken from the company. Our investigation into the events of last year is ongoing and the results will be reported as soon as is practicably possible. In the meantime we will continue to build on the record operational performance the company achieved in 2008."
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