Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Roman Abramovich Operated as a 'Political Godfather', Court Hears

THE DAILY TELEGRAPH: Chelsea Football Club owner Roman Abramovich operated in a Russian state in which the ''rule of law'' had disappeared, where police were ''corrupt'', courts ''open to manipulation'' and businessmen needed access to a ''political godfather'', a High Court judge heard today.

A barrister representing the billionaire Russian businessman told Mrs Justice Gloster that ''quite extraordinary conditions'' prevailed in Russia following the collapse of communism in 1992 and said it was ''not easy'' for English lawyers to assess the behaviour of people who lived in ''such a world''.

Jonathan Sumption QC described Russia in the 1990s as he summarised Mr Abramovich's defence in a multi-billion pound legal battle at the Commercial Court in London.

Mr Abramovich is being sued for more than £3 billion by fellow Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky in a case which began this week and is expected to last for more than two months.

Mr Berezovsky is claiming Mr Abramovich ''intimidated'' him into selling shares in Russian oil company Sibneft at a fraction of their value - and alleging breach of trust and breach of contract.

Mr Abramovich denies the allegations. » | Tuesday, October 04, 2011

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