Berezovsky: Roman made me feel he was like my son

 

The exiled Russian businessman and former politician Boris Berezovsky told the High Court that Roman Abramovich, the owner of Chelsea Football Club, had been "like my son" and that he was a "genius".

Mr Berezovsky, 65, spoke from the witness box for a second day, where he was cross-examined by Mr Abramovich's barrister, Jonathan Sumption, QC.

He is suing Mr Abramovich, 44, for more than £3bn, which he claims the latter owes him after forcing him to sell his stake in Sibneft, an enormously profitable oil firm, at a hugely discounted price.

Mr Abramovich "is genius", he said. "At least in one way. If he wants to convince somebody personally he may serve them so well. And you trust him so much that you really believe he is sincere. He is genius.

"He really convinced me for a long time he is like my son... He is genius like that, no doubt."

Mr Sumption reminded Mr Berezovsky that he had told the court on Thursday that Mr Abramovich was "not smart". Mr Berezovsky replied: "It's not so."

Laurence Rabinowitz QC, counsel for Mr Berezovsky, said in written submissions to the judge that Mr Abramovich's explanation for paying the businessman £1.3bn was "incredible and incoherent".

Mr Rabinowitz said Mr Berezovsky left Russia in 2000, after falling out with then-president Vladimir Putin and claimed Mr Abramovich "threatened and intimidated" him into giving up his interest in Sibneft for a "mere 1.3 billion" US dollars – "a fraction of its true worth".

He said the judge would be able to consider Mr Abramovich's case – that "Mr Berezovsky [and a third businessman] were no more than gangsters offering him 'krysha': protection" and "never really businessmen" with whom he had been friendly and in partnership.

"Mr Abramovich provides a range of explanations for his decisions to make this payment," said Mr Rabinowitz. "Mr Abramovich suggests that some on-going fear of Mr Berezovsky caused him to pay out 1.3 billion dollars to which (he) had no entitlement in law or in honour."

He added: "The explanations offered by Mr Abramovich as to why he paid this huge sum of money are incredible and incoherent, contradictory and obviously insufficient."

Mr Rabinowitz told the judge: "Mr Berezovsky's case is that Mr Abramovich has lied about Sibneft and lied about intimidation.

"Mr Abramovich's response is to seek to brand Mr Berezovsky the liar. The court will have to determine where the truth lies."

Mr Berezovsky is expected to give evidence for most of next week. Yesterday he appeared far more comfortable than the day before, when he had often struggled to answer questions and denied claims that were later shown to be in his witness statement.

In 2005 Mr Abramovich sold his stake in Sibneft for £7.4bn, which was the largest transaction in Russian history at the time.

The case is expected to last up to three months. Mr Abramovich will give evidence in November.

News
Andy Murray with his girlfriend of nine years, Kim Sears who he has got engaged to
people

Tennis star is set to marry his long-term girlfriend, Kim Sears

News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
filmDirector said film would 'never have been financed' with ethnic minority actors in key roles
News
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Sport
footballArsenal 2 Borussia Dortmund 0: And they can still top the group
Arts and Entertainment
An unseen image of Kurt Cobain at home featured in the film 'Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck'
filmThe singers widow and former bandmates have approved project
News
Andy Murray with his girlfriend of nine years, Kim Sears who he has got engaged to
peopleWimbledon champion announces engagement to girlfriend Kim Sears
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden and Edwina Currie are joining the I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! camp
tv
Arts and Entertainment
George Mpanga has been shortlisted for the Critics’ Choice prize
music
News
Albert Camus (left) and Jean-Paul Sartre fell out in 1952 and did not speak again before Camus’s death
people
Arts and Entertainment
Roisin, James and Sanjay in the boardroom
tvReview: This week's failing project manager had to go
News
Ed Miliband visiting the Holocaust museum in Jerusalem. The Labour leader has spoken more openly of his heritage recently
newsAttacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But are the barbs more sinister?
Arts and Entertainment
'Felfie' (2014) by Alison Jackson
photographyNew exhibition shows how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
News
i100
Life and Style
Fright night: the board game dates back to at least 1890
life
Environment
The vaquita is being killed by fishermen trying to catch the totoaba fish, which is prized in China
environmentJust 97 of the 'world's cutest' sea mammals remain
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Web Marketing Specialist

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's leading Renewable Energy compa...

Ashdown Group: Data Warehouse & Business Intelligence Co-ordinator

£35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Required skills include SQL querying, SSRS, u...

Ashdown Group: C#.Net Developer - C#, ASP.Net, PHP, HTML, JavaScript, CSS

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: C#.Net Developer - C#, ASP.Net, HTML...

Argyll Scott International: Senior Business Analyst- Insurance

Negotiable: Argyll Scott International: Senior Business Analyst - Insurance ...

Day In a Page

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game
There's a Good Girl exhibition: How female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising

In pictures: There's a Good Girl exhibition

The new exhibition reveals how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover - from advent calendars to doll's houses

UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover

It worked with cupcakes, doughnuts and macarons so no wonder someone decided to revamp the humble biscuit
Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

It's no surprise that the building game born in Sweden in 2009 and now played by millions, has imitators keen to construct their own mega money-spinner
The King's School is way ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology

Staying connected: The King's School

The school in Cambridgeshire is ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology. Richard Garner discovers how teachers and pupils stay connected
Christmas 2014: 23 best women's perfumes

Festively fragrant: the best women's perfumes

Give a loved one a luxe fragrance this year or treat yourself to a sensual pick-me-up
Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition

Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund

The Ox celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition
Billy Joe Saunders vs Chris Eubank Jnr: When two worlds collide

When two worlds collide

Traveller Billy Joe Saunders did not have a pampered public-school upbringing - unlike Saturday’s opponent Chris Eubank Jnr
Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?