Google’s Russian subsidiary files lawsuit against state bailiffs – court documents

A Google search page is seen through a magnifying glass in this photo illustration taken in Berlin

(Reuters) – Google’s Russian subsidiary has filed a lawsuit against Russian state bailiffs, court documents show, in a year that has seen the unit file for bankruptcy in Russia and have more than 7.7 billion roubles ($127 million) in funds seized.

Alphabet Inc.’s (GOOGL.O) Google declined to comment.

In May, Russian bailiffs seized funds from Google that it had been ordered to pay late last year. A month earlier, Tsargrad, a Russian Orthodox television channel blocked by YouTube, said bailiffs had seized 1 billion roubles from Google.

Google’s subsidiary filed for bankruptcy in June after saying that authorities had seized its bank account, making it impossible to pay staff and vendors.

Court documents published on Oct. 4 showed the Moscow Arbitration Court had accepted an application from Google LLC dated Sept. 30 and would consider the case.

The court listed the Moscow department of Russia’s Federal Bailiffs Service and one of its senior officials as the defendants.

Russia’s Federal Bailiffs Service did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The RIA news agency reported in August that the same Moscow court had rejected Google’s demand that the 1 billion roubles seized in the Tsargrad case be returned, with the TV channel still unable to access all Google services.

Tsargrad TV is owned by businessman Konstantin Malofeev, who was sanctioned by the United States and European Union in 2014 over accusations that he funded pro-Moscow separatists fighting in Ukraine, something he denies. Russia considers such Western sanctions illegal.

Tsargrad TV had no immediate comment.

($1 = 60.5000 roubles)

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