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Amsterdam Court Rejects Sanctioned Yandex Founder’s Appeal Against Mansion Squatters

The squatters had hung anti-war and anti-capitalist banners from the home's five-story facade in November.

Russian tech billionaire Arkady Volozh’s latest effort to evict a group of squatters from his luxurious Amsterdam mansion has been struck down in court, lawyers for the opposing parties told The Moscow Times’ Russian service Tuesday.

Volozh, the founder of Russia’s largest search engine Yandex, was targeted by European Union sanctions following the invasion of Ukraine. He is barred from traveling to the Netherlands on his Russian passport and his Amsterdam home is considered a frozen asset. 

The group of seven squatters moved into Volozh’s 3.4-million-euro mansion in central Amsterdam in October 2022, saying that they had done so in protest against the war in Ukraine, Volozh’s reported ties to the Kremlin and the housing crisis in the Dutch capital. 

A Dutch court sided with the squatters in November, ruling that they did not have to vacate the property.

The Amsterdam Court of Appeal rejected Volozh’s appeal against that ruling Tuesday.

Volozh’s lawyers said they intend to challenge the Amsterdam Court of Appeal’s ruling in the Supreme Court of the Netherlands. 

“The rejection of the appeal is a clear violation of the family’s property rights and a worrisome precedent that any property owner in the Netherlands can face,” the Volozh family’s lawyer, John Wolfs, told The Moscow Times.

Heleen over de Linden, the squatters' lawyer, told The Moscow Times that the Supreme Court will not be evaluating the case itself, but the work of the judge in the previous ruling. 

She said this process will take at least a year.

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