UK Channel Island Police to Apologize to Russian Businessman Abramovich

Photo: Reuters [via The Wall Street Journal]

The Facts

  • On Wednesday, a court on the English Channel island of Jersey ordered local police to apologize to Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich and pay damages for what it ruled to be an illegally obtained warrant to conduct raids of his properties earlier this year. Jersey is a self-governing island but follows UK sanctions.

  • Sanctioned by Britain, the Royal Court of Jersey froze $7B worth of assets linked to Abramovich in April, with two warrants then issued for police to search premises suspected to be linked to him. Police have now admitted that they were obtained "unlawfully" and "should be quashed."

The Spin

Establishment-critical narrative

After this formal acknowledgment of illegally searching Abramovich's property, it's safe to say the UK government — and UK-adjacent islands — have gone too far in attacking him. Despite reports that he doesn't even support Putin's invasion, they've stripped him of $7B, his soccer team, and now his privacy.

Pro-establishment narrative

Though sanctions should be imposed lawfully, we shouldn't forget the necessity of monitoring and sanctioning billionaires with deep ties to Putin, which Abramovich inarguably has. Jersey committed itself to ensure its sanctions regime fully aligned with the UK and was merely acting on that pledge in April.

Narrative C

It's hypocritical to impose sanctions on Russia for invading Ukraine, but not on the US for invading Iraq for equally unjustified reasons, or on Israel for invading and annexing Arab lands.

Establishment split



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