Boris Berezovsky, one of the most famous and influential Russian oligarchs of the nineties, filed a lawsuit against Roman Abramovich in a London court five years ago. However, it was only now that the London justice finally delivered its verdict.
The object of Boris Berezovsky's claim was the shares of Sibneft and his stake in RUSAL, which he sold, according to the former oligarch, in 2001-2004. Boris Abramovich claimed that he was forced to sell his assets several times cheaper than their real value due to threats from Roman Abramovich. Berezovsky estimated the damage caused to him at $ 5, 5 billion and personally handed Abramovich a subpoena.
During the trial, Berezovsky tried to prove that he was a shareholder in the named enterprises and received the corresponding payments. Abramovich, in turn, claimed that he did pay Berezovsky, but these were not dividend payments to a shareholder, but a payment for political patronage. According to him, in the nineties, almost all large Russian business paid the oligarch for his ability to settle any business. Since the London court was unfamiliar with the commercial interpretation of the word "roof", Abramovich had to explain in detail the second meaning of this term.
From the very beginning, Berezovsky's position seemed extremely weak to many specialists, since he was unable to provide material evidence of ownership of shares and stakes in the enterprises appearing in the lawsuit. All his statements were based on words that were not a weighty argument for the London court. His noticeably tarnished image of a fighter for democracy also worked against Boris Berezovsky, since the oligarch's name has repeatedly appeared in many scandalous stories.
It is worth noting that Berezovsky has lost almost all of his fortune over the years. The main reason for this was his inability to work in normal market conditions. The methods he used in Russia in the nineties turned out to be unacceptable in England, so the disgraced oligarch failed to create any serious business. That is why he pinned such high hopes on the London court, hoping with the help of English justice to improve his financial affairs.
On August 31, 2012, the court finally announced the decision in the case that had been dragging on for five years. To Boris Berezovsky's chagrin, Judge Elizabeth Gloucester dismissed all of his claims in full. In her opinion, Berezovsky failed to prove ownership of assets in Sibneft and RUSAL.
Experts say that this case is lost for Berezovsky, there is no point in appealing against the decision, since it will almost certainly be upheld by a higher court. However, the former oligarch's lawyer said the court's verdict would be appealed. As for Abramovich, he has already announced that he is quite satisfied with the court's decision, which once again proved the fairness of the British judicial system.