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Last Friday one of the most high-profile trials of this year ended in London. Boris Berezovsky lost the case with the claims of 5.6 billion dollars versus Roman Abramovich, failing to convince the court of the claim that he owns the shares in Sibneft and Rusal. Now the business tycoon claimed that he lost trust in the British justice.
On August 31, the London High Court turned down Berezovsky’s lawsuit, which demanded to levy 5.6 billion dollars of losses from Abramovich, the Kommersant daily reported. The plaintiff insisted that he was Abarmovich’s business partner and possessed 43% in Sibneft and 25% in Rusal together with late Badri Patarkatsishvili, which had to sell these stocks at the low price under the pressure and threats from the defendant, who took advantage of a row between Boris Berezovsky and Vladimir Putin coming to power then. Roman Abramovich turned down Berezovsky’s claims, stating that he paid for the cover-up to the latter that included the political patronage thanks to the ties of the plaintiff with Boris Yeltsin’s family and the protection of his life.
In late September the London High Court will launch another trial with the participation of Russian business tycoons. Mikhail Chernoy demands to recognize his right to possess 13.2% of stock in Oleg Deripaska’s Rusal, the newspaper noted. The lawyers believe that Mikhail Chernoy’s position is more beneficial than that of Boris Berezovsky and the Friday court verdict will influence slightly his case versus Oleg Deripaska.
Roman Abramovich’s lawyers stated that they are satisfied with the court verdict, the RBC daily reported. Abramovich’s lawyers take into account that the case relates to Russian realities and consequently this case should be tried in Russia. However, Abramovich has always treated with respect the British judicial system and believed in its justice. They claimed initially that Berezovsky’s accusations were groundless and the court proved it, the Millhouse Capital Company said in an official press release. The former Chukotka governor owns Millhouse. Now according to the British tradition the country’s legal authorities can rule to levy all legal costs for the trial from Berezovsky. These legal costs are estimated at more than 100 million British pounds.
The Vedomosti daily reported that Berezovsky’s failure is a dangerous legal instance for the state bankers, which take secret stocks in business in exchange for credits, for the top managers, who have secret interests in different businesses. After the Berezovsky vs. Abramovich case it is clear that even “the friends”, who seem to be true, can give you a kick easily, the newspaper noted.
The Novaya Gazeta daily believes that this is not a verdict in the private commercial dispute, but a verdict to the modern Russian history. This is a dirty trial that put on display not only the dirty linen, but also the traces of activities of many politicians in the country and business captains, the newspaper believes.
The fantastic degree of frankness, with which the main parties to the trial “were beating up” each other and said how they divided the assets in the country and bribed the state authorities, was remarkable. The newspaper noted that Berezovsky’s fatal mistake became the lack of any documentation, which substantiated his joint business with the former friends.