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Oil tycoon loses property ruling

A Nigerian oil tycoon has lost a Supreme Court fight with his estranged English wife.

Lawyers say the ruling on the cash dispute between Michael and Yasmin Prest could have significant implications for divorcing couples.

The Supreme Court judgment, which followed a hearing in London in March, was the latest round of a lengthy legal battle.

In October, the Court of Appeal ruled Mr Prest did not have to hand property worth millions of pounds to Mrs Prest.

Appeal judges concluded that a High Court judge had earlier wrongly ordered Mr Prest to transfer properties held in the names of companies he controlled.

Mrs Prest then asked the Supreme Court - the highest court in the UK - to analyse the case.

Judges have heard the couple - in their early 50s - married in 1993, spent most of their time in London, had properties in Nigeria and the Caribbean and lived to a ''very high standard''. They were told Mr Prest claimed to be worth about £48 million but Mrs Prest said he was worth ''tens if not hundreds of millions'' of pounds.

Seven Supreme Court justices unanimously allowed Mrs Prest's appeal on Wednesday. They concluded properties held by Mr Prest's companies were properties to which he was "entitled".

Mrs Prest said after the decision was announced: "I'm delighted and relieved that the Supreme Court has ruled as it did. I'm grateful to the judges for the care and thought they gave the case.

"It is more a case of satisfaction and relief than celebration. None of this would have been necessary if Michael had been sensible and played fair."


From Belfast Telegraph