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Bank of New York Flip-Flops Position on Russian Legal System

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2008-07-02 08:16:48     
Podhurst Orseck, P.A.

Attorneys representing the Russian Federal Customs Service said today that the Bank of New York's (NYSE: BK) comments on the Russian legal system were both condescending and inconsistent with the Bank's own prior position on the jurisdiction of the specific court in which the case involving the Federal Customs Service's US$22.5 billion claim is being heard.

In the Bank of New York's June 30, 2008 press conference in Moscow, Bank of New York Vice-President Mathew Biben chastised the Russian legal system, telling the Russian public that even if a Moscow Arbitration Court ruled against the bank, the judgment would be disregarded by the bank and could not be enforced in any country throughout the world.

The Russian Federal Customs Service lead U.S. attorney, Steven C. Marks with Podhurst Orseck, challenged the Bank of New York's position, saying, "It is an affront to the Russian government to suggest that its judgments have no validity around the world. Russia is not a third world country. It is one of the leading economic powers in the world. Moreover, the Bank of New York has the audacity to suggest that all 90 countries where it operates will snub it? This type of arrogant disrespect, from a foreign company that is earning billions of dollars in Russia, is an embarrassment."

"The Bank of New York is attempting to intimidate the Court by linking President Medvedev's pledge to improve the Russian judiciary to the outcome of this case. This is an absurd argument because the Bank of New York has already admitted to criminal money laundering in the United States. There is nothing inconsistent in a Russian court arriving at the same conclusion as did the U.S. Department of Justice," added Marks.

The bank also questioned the impartiality of the Russian judicial system, a position inconsistent with its own related RICO case, Pavlov v The Bank of New York. In that case, the Bank of New York argued that the Moscow Arbitration Court - which is hearing the present case - would be a better forum in which to decide the RICO claims Bank of New York then faced. The Bank asserted "[t]he Russian courts are clearly an adequate, available and much more convenient forum for the resolution of this dispute."

Bank of New York stipulated that the Moscow Arbitration Court was fair, impartial and that Bank of New York would not contest enforcement of any final judgment handed down by the Russian court.

"It is a total contradiction to ask for a RICO case to be transferred to this Russian Court at one time, and now to object to that court hearing this RICO case," Marks said. "As to impartiality, this court has shown unusual patience and tolerance for the many procedural and technical matters raised by the Bank of New York."

For additional information on this matter, please visit http://www.russianbanksuit.com.

Media Contact:

Amy Federman

305-347-4343 / 954-464-8887

Specialized in: Russian Legal System
URL: http://www.russianbanksuit.com
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