Monaco investigation into Lawyer Bersheda violated privacy rights, rules ECHR

The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that a Monaco judge’s investigation into lawyer Tetiana Bersheda, linked to billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev, violated fundamental human rights. The case involved an invasive and unrestricted search of Bersheda’s phone.

Tetiana Bersheda, a lawyer for Dmitry Rybolovlev, was under investigation in Monaco in 2017 for allegedly recording a private conversation with a friend of Rybolovlev in relation to the fraud case with Swiss art dealer Yves Bouvier. The case was entrusted to Edouard Levrault, a French judge seconded to the Monegasque judiciary.

In the context of her defence, Bersheda handed her phone to the police to verify the recording, but the investigating judge authorised a broad, unrestricted examination of her phone that she used for both private and professional purposes, recovering massive amounts of data, including previously erased information unrelated to the investigation.

A violation of the right to respect for private life

After both the Court of Appeal and the Cour de Révision in Monaco rejected Bersheda and Rybolovlev’s applications challenging the conduct of the investigation, the European Court of Human Rights ruled unanimously on 6th June that there had been a violation of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, referring to the right to respect for private life.

The EU court determined that the investigation had exceeded its scope, lacked safeguards to protect Bersheda’s professional privilege as a lawyer and involved indiscriminate data recovery. These actions were deemed disproportionate and not “necessary in a democratic society”.

Following the court’s decision, Dmitry Rybolovlev’s attorneys released a statement, saying, “The defense had claimed for years that the previous investigating judge, in order to indict Mr. Rybolovlev, had no right to search indiscriminately through his lawyer’s phone to extract messages related to her legal activities. By doing so, he gravely breached attorney-client privilege.”

“These entire criminal proceedings are therefore tainted,” said Rybolovlev’s legal team. “Indeed, the proceedings were based solely on the illicit misuse of Ms. Bersheda’s phone and the false interpretation of the messages obtained in this manner. All procedural consequences in favour of Dmitriy Rybolovlev must be drawn from this.”

The Rybolovlev v Bouvier affair

Russian collector Dmitriy Rybolovlev, who is the owner of the AS Monaco football club, had accused Yves Bouvier of swindling him out of €1.1bn from the €2bn sale of 38 works of art between 2003 and 2014. Bouvier has always denied any wrongdoing, claiming he acted as a dealer, free to set his own profit margins, and not as an agent.

The epic legal battle that played out for almost a decade came to an end in December 2023, when the pair settled out of court in an agreement covering all of their legal disputes in all jurisdictions, from Hong Kong to Monaco. 


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‘Miquel Barceló, Oceanographer’: Villa Paloma’s deep dive into oceanic art

In a new exhibition at the Nouveau Musée National de Monaco’s Villa Paloma, Spanish artist Miquel Barceló takes visitors on an immersive voyage through the underwater world with his signature multi-discipline blend of paintings, ceramics and textures. 

‘Miquel Barceló, Oceanographer’ officially opened to the public on 7th June following a special vernissage earlier in the week.  

The exhibition is Barceló’s first major showcase that is solely dedicated to the oceans, but the marine world has always captivated the Spaniard, who describes the works displayed at the Villa Paloma as “an immersive dive without breathing equipment”. 

Speaking to Monaco Life at the press unveiling, Barceló said, “Each floor of the Villa Paloma represents a different theme of the sea, accompanied by different lighting in an intimate and pleasant setting.”

The experience begins on a path that traces the origins of life through to our own human interactions with the sea: fishing, sailing and cooking. 

The ‘Miquel Barceló, Oceanographer’ exhibition features the full breadth of the artist’s talents, from painter to sculptor and ceramicist. Photo by Monaco Life

In his paintings, Barceló plays with textures, recreating the meeting of the Earth’s crust with the seafloor and water through layering. He teases the sensations of underwater tremors and of crashing waves with creations that intersect an array of techniques and materials.  

Barceló’s notebooks, where he sketches, writes and records his thoughts during his artistic process, are on display on the second floor of the museum, offering visitors an authentic insight into the mind and imagination of one of the greatest contemporary artists of our time.  

Björn Dahlström, the director of the Nouveau Musée National de Monaco (NMNM), shared with Monaco Life, “We are very honoured to be hosting such a unique exhibition.” 

The exhibition will be open to the public every day from 10am to 6pm until 13th October, except in July and August, when the opening hours switch to 11am to 7pm. Tickets cost €6, but entrance is free on Sundays.  

For more information about the exhibition, click here


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Photos by Monaco Life 

Betclic Elite: Game 2 defeat sends Roca Team to Paris for finals tie-breaker

betclic elite final

A disappointing defeat at the hands of Paris Basketball means that the Roca Team will now have to travel to the French capital for Game 3 of the Betclic Elite finals. It will be the deciding game, one that will determine the outcome of the league.  

Following a strong 90-80 win in the opening match, the Roca Team were off their stride for Game 2, which was held at Salle Gaston Médecin on Thursday 6th June. 

Despite a third-quarter comeback, the Monaco side still came up short, with the fixture ending 70-77 in favour of the French team. 

Though frustrated by the defeat, the team was courteous to the Parisians, with Coach Sasa Obradovic saying, “We must say congratulations to Paris, who deserved to win this match.” 

His displeasure with the result was clear, however, with the Serbian coach adding, “This was not the case for us. We didn’t deserve it tonight. That’s all. We cannot hope by starting this way, by missing throws like this, by not being focused as we have seen. This has happened to us several times. If we don’t wake up in the final, when will we? I hope the players do more in Paris.” 

To add insult to injury, individual scores were also down in this game. Élie Okobo led the charge with 15 points on the night, followed by Alpha Diallo, who scored 14. Petr Cornelie rounded out the Top 3 with 11 points.  

“We got off to a very bad start,” said Cornelie, the Roca Team’s power forward, post-game. “We conceded a gap in the first five minutes… It’s a series, we have to go get this Game 3.”  

And that game is only just around the corner. On Sunday 9th June, the Roca Team will need to put their talent and skills to work at Paris Basketball’s impressive Adidas Arena if they hope to retain the Champions of France title that AS Monaco Basket claimed in 2023.  

Read related:

Roca Team dominates Paris Basketball in first game of BetClic Elite finals


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Photo credit: AS Monaco Basket

Hungary’s Minister of Foreign Affairs attends opening of new consulate in Monaco

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary, Péter Szijjártó, was welcomed to Monaco earlier this week to meet with Prince Albert II and officially open the Principality’s new Hungarian Consulate.

Born in 1978 in Komárom, Hungary, Péter Szijjártó has played a pivotal role in Hungary’s political landscape.

During his official visit on Tuesday 4th June, Szijjártó attended the inauguration of the new Hungarian Consulate in Monaco, a significant milestone in nurturing cultural and economic bonds between the two countries. Also present were Georges de Habsbourg-Lorraine, Ambassador of Hungary in France and Monaco, and Jose Luis Delso Martinez-Trevijano, the current Honorary Consul of Hungary in Monaco, who has been tasked with promoting cultural exchanges and facilitating business partnerships between Hungary and Monaco. 

Minister Szijjártó’s meeting at the Ministry of State with Monaco’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Isabelle Berro-Amadeï, included a review of the bilateral relations between the two countries, which have flourished since establishing diplomatic ties in 2016. 

Later in the day, Szijjártó participated in a conference at the Metropole Hotel organised by the Monaco Economic Board, a key player in promoting economic cooperation between Monaco and Hungary. The meeting, themed ‘Business Destination: Hungary’, provided a platform for Monaco’s economic players to interact with the Hungarian minister and exchange of ideas for cooperation.

Read related:

Government latest: Educational grants, support for island states and international diplomacy


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Prince Albert II joins Emmanuel Macron and King Charles III at D-Day commemorations

Prince Albert II has proudly represented the Principality of Monaco at the 80-year commemorations of the historic D-Day landings in Normandy, which united more than 2,000 guests, including world leaders and WWII military veterans, at a moving ceremony on Omaha Beach.  

On Thursday 6th June, the 80th anniversary of the Allied Forces’ landings on the beaches of Normandy, Prince Albert joined dozens of other heads of state and government leaders from around the world in commemorating the valiant efforts of the soldiers who fought together for freedom in 1944.  

Operation Neptune, often referred to as D-Day, has gone down in history as the largest ever seaborne invasion. The success of the landings and the subsequent Battle of Normandy, also known as Operation Overlord, marked the start of the liberation of France and the Allied victory on the Western Front.  

Nearly 160,000 troops landed on five beaches in Normandy on Tuesday 6th June 1944, some of whom are still alive today and were able to attend the 80th anniversary commemorations. 

See more: Prince Albert II commemorates 80th anniversary of Normandy’s D-Day landings

In the morning, Prince Albert attended the official British ceremony in Ver-sur-Mer alongside King Charles III, Queen Camilla and Prince William of the United Kingdom, French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte, 20 WWII British military veterans and family members of soldiers who lost their lives in the Normandy campaign.  

In the afternoon, Prince Albert again represented the Principality of Monaco, this time at the international ceremony on Omaha Beach, one of the five famous landing sites. The event was presided over by Macron and was attended by dozens of heads of state and government leaders, including President of the United States of America Joe Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Prince Albert II of Monaco joined the UK’s Prince William, France’s Emmanuel Macron, the USA’s Joe Biden and Canada’s Justin Trudeau on the front row of the commemorations. Photo credit: Michael Alési / Palais Princier de Monaco

In comments shared by representatives for the Palais Princier de Monaco following the ceremony, Prince Albert expressed his wish “for this anniversary to have a special significance this year… by highlighting the decisive contribution of the American army”. 

Later this year, Monaco will commemorate the 80th anniversary of its own liberation following successive Italian and German occupations during WWII. 

On Tuesday 3rd September, a military ceremony will be held at the monument dedicated to those who died during the global conflicts of the 20th century in the Monaco cemetery. Prince Albert is expected to make a speech in the presence of military delegations from Monaco, France and the USA. 

Click on the images below to see more:


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Photo credits: Michael Alési / Palais Princier de Monaco