Berezovsky loses court battle with Abramovich

31st August 2012, Comments 0 comments

Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky lost his long-running legal battle with fellow tycoon Roman Abramovich in London's High Court on Friday.

Berezovsky, 66, was seeking more than £3 billion ($4.75 billion, 3.8 billion euros) in damages after accusing the 45-year-old owner of Chelsea football club of blackmail, breach of trust and breach of contract.

But Judge Elizabeth Gloster ruled in Abramovich's favour after a trial in London which started in October last year and ended in January.

Abramovich and Berezovsky have spent a reported 100 million pounds fighting the case, which has involved an army of lawyers.

Berezovsky claimed Abramovich "betrayed" him and "intimidated" him into selling shares in the Russian oil company Sibneft for a "mere 1.3 billion dollars". Abramovich firmly denied the allegations.

The case shone on a spotlight on the lavish lifestyles of the oligarchs, and the political influence that Berezovsky wielded when Boris Yeltsin was Russian president.

Abramovich told the court that Berezovsky was paid millions of pounds for his services as a "political godfather" but was not a business partner of his.

Berezovsky fled Russia in 2000 after he fell out with Vladimir Putin during his first term as president.

The so-called Kremlin "family" that surrounded Yeltsin at the time included Berezovsky and the president's daughter as well as several other tycoons who suffered badly once Putin rose to power.


© 2012 AFP

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