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Boris Berezovsky witness denies being paid to give evidence

A witness for Boris Berezovsky in his £3.5bn claim against Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich yesterday disputed suggestions he and his wife are being paid to give evidence.

Private client manager Michael Lindley was giving evidence just over a week after his wife Natalia Nosova, deputy general director to Mr Berezovsky at his Russian car dealership Logovaz, admitted in the witness box that she and her husband stood to gain 1 per cent of any of Mr Berezovsky's recoveries in the action. This may amount to as much as $140m.

Mr Lindley said the money was promised in return for his wife's managerial role in organising Mr Berezovsky's legal proceedings. When asked if he had realised that both he and his wife could be asked to give evidence when the contingency arrangement was made, he said: "It didn't occur to me", adding that there had been a "mental disconnect" between the fee and the agreement to give evidence.

Dr Nosova and Mr Lindley are among a number of people who stand to gain if Mr Berezovsky's claim is successful, including an unnamed individual who gave him a secret recording of a meeting between Mr Abramovich, Mr Berezovsky and Mr Berezovsky's former business partner Badri Patarkatsishvilli at a Paris airport in 2001.

Today the court will hear from David Reuben, one of the British billionaire metals magnates the Reuben Brothers. They were the chief exporters of Russian aluminium during the 1990s, a matter central to the case.

On Monday, at the start of the trial's fifth week, Mr Abramovich himself is due to take the stand.