Football: Rybolovlev charged in ongoing art legal battle

AS Monaco's Russian president Dmitry Rybolovlev claims he was vastly overcharged by a Swiss art dealer (AFP Photo/BORIS HORVAT)

Monaco (AFP) - Dmitry Rybolovlev, the Russian billionaire president of Monaco football club was charged Thursday with "being complicit in violating privacy" as part of a long-running fraud dispute with Swiss art dealer Yves Bouvier.

Legal sources said Rybolovlev "was charged with being complicit in violating privacy in connection with the complaint filed by Tania Rappo".

Rappo is a Bulgarian woman who introduced Bouvier to Rybolovlev in 2003, and is Bouvier's co-defendant in the case.

Rybolovlev, who took over Monaco football club in 2011, accuses Bouvier of defrauding him of several hundred million euros over the sale of several paintings since 2003.

The charge brought against him Thursday are linked to a tape recording his lawyer Tetiana Bersheda made during a dinner at Rybolovlev's Monaco home on February 23, 2015.

Rappo, the target of the tape, was arrested two days later by Monaco police and later filed a complaint about intrusion of her privacy.

Monaco's public prosecutor Jacques Doremieux told AFP that Rybolovlev's brief court appearance was a "procedural formality".

"There's no questioning and it is referred to another date to be heard on its merits."

Doremieux said there was no link between the charge and another investigation into whether Rybolovlev exercised undue influence with Monaco's former justice minister Philippe Narmino and high-ranking police officials.