Former King’s College LawSoc president charged in FBI Russia probe

A Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom associate based in London has become embroiled in the investigation into Russian meddling in the US Presidential election.

US special counsel Robert Mueller has charged Alex Van Der Zwaan with making false statements as part of the FBI’s investigation into Russian collusion during the 2016 presidential election.

According to Bloomberg, charges against Van Der Zwaan were filed on 16 February, stating that the lawyer lied to investigators about a report he helped to prepare into the trial of Ukrainian politician, Yulia Tymoshenko, who stood against the pro-Russia president Viktor Yanukovych in 2010.

Four years later, Yanukovych was forced to flee the country following nationwide protests over allegations of corruption. The revolution led to the destabilising of relations between Russia and Ukraine.

Van Der Zwaan is Dutch-born and qualified as a lawyer in England & Wales in 2009 after training with Skadden. He was an undergraduate at King’s College and is a former president of the college law society. He graduated in 2006.

He is the son-in-law of Russian billionaire oligarch German Khan, having married his daughter, art critic Eva Khan, last year.

He is alleged to have lied to investigators about conversations he had with former Trump adviser Richard Gates, who was indicted in October on fraud-related charges.

Paul Manafort, a member of Trump’s campaign team, was also charged with conspiracy to launder money, conspiracy to defraud the United States and failure to register as foreign agents in connection with their political work for a pro-Russia party in Ukraine.

A spokesperson for Skadden said: “The firm terminated its employment of Alex van der Zwaan in 2017 and has been cooperating with authorities in connection with this matter.”

In 2012 the Ministry of Ukraine, at the behest of Manafort, commissioned Skadden to produce a report into Tymoshenko’s handling of a deal with Vladimir Putin that ended a dispute between Russian natural gas company Gazprim and its Ukrainian counterpart Naftogaz.

Tymoshenko was later sentenced to prison for seven years for “abuse of power” in signing the deal, which she claimed was politically motivated.

A Ministry of Ukraine press statement said at the time that the Skadden report was independent and that it found Tymoshenko’s claims that her prosecution was politically motivated as “groundless”.