Russian Appellate Court Orders Re-tiral of Criminal Proceedings Against Cryptouniverse

After winning the case at the District Court level, Cryptouniverse failed to succeed before Saint Petersburg. Court sets aside the order of the District Court, accepts appeal, and orders for re-trial for ensuring the ends of justice. The criminal case is likely to be registered against the Russian crypto trading platform.

In the mid-2020, a court case was instituted against a Russian crypto trading platform called Cryptouniverse. The case came up before a District Court in Russia in which the complainant asked the court to register a criminal case against Cryptouniverse.

After considering the facts and evidence, the Russian District Court dismissed the case and ordered that no criminal case can be lodged against Cryptouniverse. Thereafter, the complainants, who were in fact customers of Cryptouniverse, filed an appeal before the appellate Court namely Saint Petersburg City Court.

When the matter was heard by the Appellate Court, the Court set aside the order passed by the District Court. Resultantly, the Appellate Court passed the ruling that the appeal filed by the appellants is accepted and a criminal case be registered against Cryptouniverse. The Court also deemed the case fit for trial and ordered its re-trial to meet the ends of justice.

Cryptouniverse was established and registered in Russia since 2018 and has been providing crypto trading services within and outside Russia. The most tradable currencies at the trading platform were Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Ethereum respectively. However, since its establishment, the crypto trading platform has been facing multiple litigations and allegations.

Initially, the case against Cryptouniverse was filed by one of the trading platform’s customers namely Alexei Burik. The filer alleged that the firm illegally seized off his crypto mining machinery and equipment and digital funds which were collectively worth around US$ 340 Million.

The local police brought the complaint before the District Court on the allegations of fraud and perjury. The criminal proceedings were then joined by two other complainants who also alleged similar allegations against Cryptouniverse. But the District Court turned down the complaint on the ground of lack of evidence and sufficient material. The complainants then instituted an appeal before Saint Petersburg and argued that the lower court failed to appreciate the facts and evidence.

The Appellate Court while accepting the arguments of the appellant’s counsel set aside lower court’s order and accepted the appeal.

It is assumed that the case is targeted against the majority shareholder of Cryptouniverse namely Mikhail Kvasnikov. Kvasnikov holds 60% shares of the company and therefore was also been instituted as a respondent in the appeal.

Russia recently decided to house crypto mining industries to establish their infrastructure and mining operations adjacent and within nuclear power plants. The reason being that the mining operations will be able to acquire huge energy resources directly at cheaper rates and without any interruption.

But in the prevailing circumstances, the continuation of business operations by Cryptouniverse looks unfavorable.