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In Almaty Case Felix Sater Says Fled Jihadis to King David Hotel All in Kazakhstan Were Dirty

By Matthew Russell Lee

SDNY COURTHOUSE, June 18 –The City of Almaty in Kazakhstan is active in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, with at least two case before SDNY Magistrate Judge Katharine H. Parker.

Inner City Press has covered the litigation with Felix Sater, with another proceeding coming up on August 23, 2022.

 On August 16 in a related case, cross defendant Mukhtar Ablyazov was being described as a scoff law with some sort of asylum in France. He was, in fact, on the line; he described himself at the number one political opposition leader in Kazakhstan. His adversary chided him for using the proceeding to make political speeches.

This case is City of Almaty, Kazahkstan, et al. v. Mukhtar Ablyazov, et al., 15-cv-5345 (Koeltl / Parker)

Previously before Judge Parker, Felix Sater was asked if he remembered election day 2016 as a notable day.

  It was "a notable day for all Americans," Sater replied, smiling. Moments later when the same lawyer, Matthew Lane Schwartz of Boies Schiller Flexner LLP began a question about Sater knowing it is a felony to lie, Sater shot back, YOU know it is a felony - until Judge Parker cut it off.

  Jump cut to March 24, 2022 when Sater had filed motions to extend discovery and to join Arcanum and the Republic of Kazakhstan. Judge Parker convened the parties in her 17th floor courtroom and Inner City Press was there.

Sater's lawyer said his client had initially thought this was just a garden variety commercial case.

Judge Parker said, But it's about money laundering. Is that garden variety commercial?

 Sater's lawyer emphasized that Arcanum was hired to find dirt, and that should not be covered by sovereign immunity. It emerged Sater has filed discovery requests about Robert Mueller.

  Almaty, Kazakhstan through Boies Flexner said Sater had been on notice and it is too late. Judge Parker took the motions under advisement.

On May 9 the (re-) assigned District Judge John G. Koeltl adopted the report by Magistrate Judge Parker denying Sater's request to amend and add claims against Kazakhstan and Arcanum. Full order on Patreon here.

  Back on October 7, 2020 Judge Parker held another discovery conference in the case. Inner City Press covered it. It emerged that a September 30 deposition of Sater had to be called off when he traveled to Guyana and said he had no Internet there.

Jump cut to December 20 when District Judge John G. Koetlt to whom it was reassigned when Judge Nathan was promoted to the Second Circuit set a trial date: "ORDER: As discussed at the conference held today, the trial in this matter is scheduled for June 10, 2024, at 9:00 a.m."

On May 16 in the run-up, this: "JOINT PRETRIAL ORDER The Sater Defendants do not intend to dispute many of the arguments made regarding the underlying business transactions referenced by Plaintiffs in their complaint. The position of the Sater Defendants is that the critical point of this trial will be the validity of the release. This matter can be resolved in no more than 2 (two) days of trial.

On June 10, Sater's lawyer wrote in that "Defendant Felix Sater respectfully moves in limine to preclude Plaintiffs from introducing evidence of Sater’s criminal conviction, entered 15 years ago, and relating to criminal conduct from the 1990s." Full letter on Patreon here.

Later on June 10, amid jury selection, plaintiffs insisted they want the racketeering in - while noting an earlier Sater conviction for assault. They oppose Sater being able to present information about helping the US government, Buzzfeed say he tracked Osama Bin Laden.

On June 11, after the jury was selected and the plaintiffs' opening, with Inner City Press present, defense counsel told the eight jurors - six plus two alternates - that if they find that the claims were released, or that they are time barred, Sater wins. He mocked Mr. Schwartz for showing a photo of Sater "with side glance" - at defense table Sater scoffed or laughed, or perhaps winced.

Defense counsel emphasized that Sater tried to help the plaintiffs get their money back.

On June 12, jurors were shown video of Mr. Schwartz questioning Khrapunov about Petelin paying so that his name would not appear in litigation.

On June 13, an expert was on the stand to authenticate Khrapunov's signature on a letter. Meanwhile, Judge Koeltl denied the motion for judgment on the pleadings by MeM Energy Partners.

On June 14, MeM's lawyer cross examine BTA Bank's consultant-not-lawyer, thread:

OK - now in Felix Sater civil trial, MeM's lawyer questioning about why party Arcanum was named that - is it for the Ohio Village near the Tri-County Mall? Plaintiffs objection to use of Google Maps.

MeM Energy's lawyer: Are you a licensed lawyer in Kazakhstan? Witness: No. I graduated in intl law - also LLM from English University of Redding. I was a corporate secretary at one of the largest pension funds in Kazakhstan MeM: Like sitting outside an office? No.

 MeM's lawyer: Would it surprise you to learn that there were actions pending involving Tri-County Mall and Felix Sater in the NY courts as early as 2013?

BTA Bank witness: What does it mean, Surprise? [What indeed]

On June 17, MeM's lawyer cross examined about a slide showing the Tri-County Mall and participants. The witness said he recognized Sater - "I have the Internet" - but Khraponov only from the WSJ.

On June 18, Felix Sater was on the stand. From the thread:

OK - now Felix Sater is on the witness stand. Sater: Why would I telegraph my punches to Khraponov who I thought was trying to cheat me?

Q: Is this your Capital One account? Sater: Yes. Wires are capable of being called back. So I moved the money I

[Yesterday's Tri-County Mall Sale chart goes up]

Sater: They put out a contract killing on me. I had to fly to Israel to protect myself. I wanted my kids to keep the money.

 Sater: It didn't work out being a tough guy, let's try the lawyers... I was staying at the King David Hotel. They couldn't get their crazy jihadis visas for Israel.

Q: You were paid $22 million? Sater: Yes, let's round up. The Chinese company came to the auction.

 Sater: I had people calling me from Kazakhstan,  I passed tge info on but he got a little carried away with his Google searches. Hey, counsel should stop smirking at me. Judge: The lawyers should be passive

 Sater: He could have had me killed but I was not afraid of him. I mean, cime on, he looks like Marvin the Martian. I've dealt with truly dangerous people - 

[Sidebar with white noise up loud]

The chart is back up.  Sater: I'm still upset at the photo... I am not subject to UK orders, like the ICC...Everyone is Kazakhstan was dirty, I do not care. I was owed that money.

Q: You worked on Syracuse Center too? Sater: I did Judge: We'll break.

more on Substack here

The witnesses, and some tweets from the streets, are on.

The case is City of Almaty, Kazakhstan et al v. Sater et al., 19-cv-2645 (Koeltl / Parker).



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