The ongoing legal rows over Telenor's mobile investments in Eastern Europe saw some new twists this week. In the US, a Federal Court judge ruled that Russian conglomerate Alfa Group was in contempt of court for failing to sell its stake in Ukrainian mobile operator Kyivstar. Telenor, which owns 56.5 per cent of Kyivstar, has had a long running dispute with Alfa, whose subsidiary Altimo owns the remaining shares. The Federal judge ordered Alfa subsidiaries Altimo, Alpren, Hardlake and Storm to sell their Kyivstar shares within 90 days or face heavy financial penalties. Alfa was also ordered to lower its stakes in Turkish operator Turkcell and Ukrainian High Technologies to less than 5 per cent in the same timescale. Earlier this week, a court in Omsk, Siberia postponed the hearing of Telenor's appeal against the US$2.8 billion judgement passed against it until December 12th. Jan Edvard Thygesen, executive VP and head of Telenor's Central and Eastern European operations described the case as ‘a judicial farce'.
Russian court freezes Vimpelcom shares