Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich's lawyers have confirmed they will launch a criminal complaint following claims in Switzerland that he was "involved in money laundering."
Abramovich had been looking to become a Swiss resident, but allegations in a national newspaper on Tuesday claimed that the 51-year-old is a “threat to public security and a reputational risk.”
The article also reported that Abramovich was known to the police "for suspicion of money laundering" as well as claiming “the applicant’s assets are at least partially of illegal origin.”
The Russian businessman's attorney Daniel Glasl has strongly denied the claims, stating that he wants the Swiss police to publicly correct the facts, while also indicating plans of a criminal complaint for whoever disseminated the information.
"We are extremely disappointed by the release and publication of confidential information from Swiss government files regarding Mr Abramovich, which occurred in clear violation of Swiss criminal law and Swiss data protection laws," a statement read.
"We have filed a request for correction of facts to the Swiss Federal Police and will be filing a criminal complaint against unknown persons responsible for dissemination of this confidential information. We also reserve our options for addressing this breach in court.
"Any suggestion that Mr Abramovich has been involved in money laundering or has contacts with criminal organisations is entirely false. Mr Abramovich has never been charged with participating in money laundering and does not have a criminal record. He has never had, or been alleged to have, connections with criminal organisations."
Following the Salisbury poisoning in March, relations between the United Kingdom and Russia have been strained, with many Russians finding it difficult to obtain visas. Abramovich withdrew his application before obtaining Israeli citizenship in May.
Around the same time, plans for the redevelopment of Chelsea's new stadium were put on hold, but the club denied that this had any connection to their owner's visa application nor claims that he wanted to sell his stake in the Premier League side.