A former Russian oil mogul is fighting his way through New Zealand's courts in a bid to have charges related to alleged drink-driving thrown out.
Mikhail Khimich, whose wealth has been reported to have been in the billions, is now asking the High Court to rule on his case - nearly two years after being stopped by police in Auckland on September 14, 2016.
The 59-year-old faces one charge of refusing to undergo a blood specimen test, despite being required to do so, and also faces a charge of failing to supply identifying particulars, namely a photograph and fingerprints, while in police custody following his arrest.
Khimich could face a possible short prison term, a disqualification from driving and a fine if convicted.
Justice Mathew Downs said during a hearing in the High Court at Auckland yesterday that despite it being mid-2018 the case was still being argued on the basis of inadmissibility.
The judge reserved his decision on the evidence but will release his judgment in a matter of days to help expedite court proceedings.
Khimich was a Moscow-based tycoon as a top executive and part-owner of Russian oil company Naftasib.
He gained New Zealand residency in 2013 and has been a generous benefactor to several sports and horse racing since first arriving in New Zealand in 2008.
He donated funds to Team New Zealand during its America's Cup defeat in San Francisco during 2013 and when the Avantidrome opened in Waikato he enjoyed a private audience with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
Khimich had pledged a reported $1 million to the $28m velodrome, where his company Waiwera Water, as part of the Waiwera Group, was a gold sponsor.
The Waiwera Group, which runs the Waiwera hot pools north of Auckland, also bottles mineral water for export and domestic sales.
In February 2012 he launched his premium vodka range at the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron.
Khimich has also made applications to the Overseas Investment Office (OIO) to buy land, with a farm site, 6km inland from Waiwera, earmarked for a bottling plant to boost production and take Waiwera Water to new global markets.
He then had plans for a vineyard and distillery on the land and wished to build a $30m-plus international spa resort. The block came to nothing, however, and the OIO ordered the land be sold.