A former Russian oil mogul has lost his bid to have evidence relating to alleged drink-driving in Auckland thrown out.
Mikhail Khimich, whose wealth has been reported to have been in the billions, asked the High Court this week to rule on the admissibility of evidence in his case - nearly two years after being stopped by police in Auckland on September 14, 2016.
The 59-year-old faces a charge of refusing to undergo a blood specimen test and of failing to supply identifying particulars, namely a photograph and fingerprints, while in police custody after his arrest.
If convicted, Khimich faces a possible short prison term, a disqualification from driving and a fine.
The former part-owner of Russian oil company Naftasib claimed there was no legality during the period he was detained and waiting for a breath-screening test, as police sought a testing device from another officer.
He further argued his alleged refusal to provide a blood specimen and identifying particulars should also be excluded as evidence.
Justice Mathew Downs, however, today denied the challenge and said the case would be tried by a judge without a jury if Khimich maintained his not guilty plea.
Khimich was travelling along Tamaki Drive when a member of the public complained to police about his driving.
Police stopped him and asked him to turn off his engine and hand over his keys.
The constable who pulled Khimich over noted he had "glazed and bloodshot eyes", and Khimich told the officer he had been drinking rum.
The officer's statement read: "Khimich's actions were clumsy, he opened the rear passenger's door into his own hand.
"I asked Khimich if he had been drinking at all. He gestured to me with his thumb and forefinger that he had drunk a little bit.
"While waiting for the road policing officer to arrive, Khimich said that he had been drinking rum in the city."
Khimich was then told to wait while another police officer brought a breath-testing device, which took about half an hour.
When the second officer arrived "Khimich stumbled over his own feet", police claimed.
Khimich gained New Zealand residency in 2013 and has been a generous benefactor to several sports and horse racing since arriving in the country in 2008.
His company Waiwera Water, part of the Waiwera Group which runs the hot pools north of Auckland, bottles mineral water for export and domestic sales.