Berezovsky did not provide a cent to Abramovich empire, court told
Thursday 06 October 2011
The bitter public feud between two Russian oligarchs descended into further trading of insults yesterday as Boris Berezovsky was described as having a "lively sense of his own importance".
Mr Berezovsky, said to be worth £500m, is embroiled in a court-room clash with the Chelsea football club owner Roman Abramovich, estimated to be worth £8.6 bn.
Mr Abramovich is being sued by Mr Berezovsky, who alleges breach of trust and of contract over the oil firm Sibneft and is claiming more than £3.2bn in damages. He claims he was "intimidated" into selling shares in the Russian oil company at a fraction of their value.
But yesterday the club owner's QC Jonathan Sumption accused Mr Berezovsky of grandstanding to members of his "private circle". He told the High Court that his actions appear to conform to the "classic psychology of the political exile". Mr Berezovsky is due to give evidence today at the Commercial Court in London in a trial that promises to lay bare the shadowy gangland world of mid-1990s Russia over the next two months.
Mr Abramovich denies the allegations, disputes that "oral agreements" were made and insists Mr Berezovsky is not entitled to damages, having not "contributed a single cent" to acquiring or building up Sibneft, nor made any managerial contribution.
His lawyer has told judge Mrs Justice Gloster that Mr Berezovsky left Russia in 2000 after a dispute with Vladimir Putin and subsequently settled in England.
He described Mr Berezovsky at the time as a "power broker" paid by businesses controlled by Mr Abramovich for his services as a "political godfather" following the collapse of communism in Russia in the 1990s.
In written papers presented to the judge, Mr Abramovich's lawyer said Mr Berezovsky's claims for damages are "difficult to justify".
"It may well be that Mr Berezovsky genuinely believes that having put Mr Abramovich on the road to one of the world's largest personal fortunes in 1995, Mr Abramovich owes him in some loose sense part of the benefits," said Mr Sumption, in a written outline argument before the court.
But he added: "Like many of his statements to members of his inner circle, it is grandstanding by a man with a lively sense of his own importance."
The hearing continues.
- 2 Kim Kardashian on Bruce Jenner's 'story': 'We support him no matter what, and I think when the time is right, he'll talk'
- 3 Russian girl takes her own life after parents find pornography on her computer
- 4 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 5 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
£40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A reputable organisation within the leisure i...
£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: I am currently working in partnersh...
£96000 - £200000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Looking for a better earning p...
£32000 - £36000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A rapidly expanding company in ...