By Le Figaro with AFP
The Ukrainian owner of this 12th century fortress, falsely declared dead, his wife and his lover were sentenced in 2022 at first instance.
The appeal trial of the fraudulent repurchase in 2015 of La Rochepot castle, jewel of wine-growing Burgundy, was postponed until March 25, the Nancy Court of Appeal announced on Wednesday. This appeal trial was initially scheduled to take place from October 23 to 25 but was postponed due to the filing of a priority question of constitutionality (QPC).
However, the Nancy Court of Appeal refused on Wednesday to transmit to the Court of Cation this QPC raised by the rich Ukrainian heiress Olga Kalina, sentenced at first instance in November 2022 to two years in prison, suspended. To justify its refusal, the Nancy Court of Appeal considered that this question was not of a new and serious nature, two of the three conditions to be met in order to be able to submit it to the Court of Cation. She rescheduled the appeal trial for March 25.
Craftsmen never paid
The main defendant in this case, Olga Kalina’s former lover, Dmitri Malinovsky, also a Ukrainian, was sentenced at first instance for money laundering to four and a half years in prison and a fine of 100,000 euros. Olga Kalina, Dmitri Malinovsky, as well as the latter’s driver, appealed. Seven defendants, including four Ukrainians, were heard for eight days in November 2022 at first instance to shed light on the complex arrangement and the origin of the funds used for the purchase in 2015 of the neo-Gothic fortress from the 12th century, for approximately 3 million euros.
The Château de La Rochepot, in the heart of wine-growing Burgundy, was bought in 2015 after remaining on sale for three years. A relief for the 300 inhabitants of this postcard village. The new buyers ured them that they would respect the premises, a condition set by the previous owner, a descendant of the President of the Republic Sadi Carnot. But the new owners have in fact always remained very discreet, until December 2017, when the local daily The Public Good revealed that the craftsmen hired for the renovation project were never paid. The matter was then taken to court.
The castle was subsequently seized in 2018 and emptied, to the great dismay of the inhabitants of La Rochepot who saw 30,000 tourists per year visiting the building.