In the legal battle between Tatiana Akhmedova and her ex-husband, the Russian oligarch Farkhad Akhmedova, their son's private e-mails, sent via two Gmail accounts, now occupy a central place.
A US court in California has just ordered Google to send it the content, considered useful evidence by the defense of the plaintiff.
The stakes are high, since the settlement of this divorce could be around 450 million pounds according to the Financial Times, one of the most expensive in the United Kingdom.
Among the property on which the two former spouses are torn apart, a helicopter, a private jet and a luxury yacht, once owned by the owner of the Chelsea football club, Roman Abramovich.
In 2016, a London court ruled on a first settlement, which the husband contests and which he did not comply with.
Tatiana Akhmedova brought the case to American and British justice.
Access without consent to emails
But this battle mainly raises a fundamental question about access to a user's private e-mails, and this without his consent.
Indeed, Google sought to block the order by citing an infringement of its confidentiality policy and the right to privacy of the son, Temur Akhmedov, who did not expressly agree to share them.
While ensuring that it understands the group's concern for "
the privacy and security of communications of account users
", the court ruled that the request did not violate the
US stored Communications Act
, which governs the disclosure of emails.
The court asks Google to give it all the emails and documents relating to Temur Akhmedov's two Gmail accounts.
The company must preserve these accounts for 90 days.
Julie E. Schwartz, the lawyer for Google has tried to argue that the group incurs legal liability for improper disclosure of information.
It has broader implications than this case here today,
” she added.
The judge interpreted the concept of expressed consent differently.
Destruction of documents
The demand to be able to produce these emails as part of the legal battle came last year, when the mother accused her son of helping his father conceal some assets by destroying documents to avoid having to have them. include in payment.
Several computers and connected devices have been seized by the courts.
Judge Virginia M. DeMarchi has therefore decided to follow the decision of the London court by allowing Tatiana Akhmedova to search for her son's emails on Google.
The judge said the information released should not go beyond the demands of the London litigation.
Following this last hearing, Temur hopes that his mother and his supporters will enjoy reading the contents of his old high school courier accounts
" commented a spokesperson for Temur Akhmedova, quoted by the Financial Times.