Maya Cherwayko, pictured, petitioned the High Court yesterday [Jul 3] to jail her ex-husband for failing to adhere to the terms of their divorce where was ordered to pay her £5 million over the course of three years
An ailing oil tycoon, facing jail unless he pays his ex-wife £5m, has been told by a top judge he must match up to his responsibilities 'even if he is in a coma.' Multimillionaire oil man, Wade Cherwayko, failed to attend a divorce hearing at London's High Court yesterday [Jul 3], citing health difficulties. He had previously been ordered to turn up or risk being held in contempt of court. His legal team was told today that he risks two-year jail term if he fails to comply with the court's direction.
Mr Cherwayko, a Canadian of Ukrainian origin, made his fortune in African oil and went out for a time with Miss Nigeria. He married his wife and the mother of his child, Maya Cherwayko, 39, in 2005, but the couple have now split, and are fighting a bitterly contested divorce in the British courts.
|The court heard that Mr Cherwayko gave his ex-wife £5m in share certificates as security on the payments, but then went out and sourced duplicate copies meaning the originals were absolutely worthless|
Mrs Cherwayko, an interior designer who has an address in Mayfair, secured an order in February last year that her ex pay her over £5m, in three yearly chunks of £1.75m.
In December, Mrs Cherwayko took her ex-husband before Mr Justice Mostyn at the High Court Family Division for failing to complete payment of the first of those instalments. The tycoon was hit with a six-month suspended jail term. Today Mrs Cherwayko again asked a High Court judge to put him behind bars. Her barrister, Daniel Bentham, told Mrs Justice Parker, that since the last hearing Mr Cherwayko has indulged in an 'untrue, perjurous' bid to dodge paying up.
|Mrs Justice Parker warned Mr Cherwayko, who was not in the High Court today, pictured, that he faces two years in prison or a substantial fine if he continues to breach court orders despite his health condition|
The barrister asked the judge to commit Mr Cherwayko - who did not attend the hearing - to prison for his defiance. Duncan Watson, for Mr Cherwayko, told the judge that he was too ill to attend court, saying he had heart trouble and high blood pressure. He said that Mr Cherwayko has 'apologised' for obtaining the replacement share certificates.
He would be able to pay his wife a sum in the region of £890,000 later this month, having sold some shares and called in some debts. Mr Watson said the oilman 'has little in the way of cash resources' until that date. 'He has credit card debts. His main assets are shares in companies,' the barrister added.
Warning Mr Cherwayko that his health problems will not let him off the hook, the judge said: 'Even if he is in a coma, he might still be in breach (of the court's order). If he can physically get here, he must come.' The judge adjourned the hearing to a later date, saying Mr Cherwayko could face 'two years max' behind bars, or a substantial fine.
'The issue is how serious the breach is,' she added.
- Daily Mail