London: Chelsea owner and Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich has won his 6.5 billion dollar worth legal battle with his former mentor and business partner, Boris Berezovsky, in the biggest private court case in British legal history.
Abramovich was accused of blackmailing Berezovsky into selling his interests in the oil company and aluminium conglomerate they founded together at a knockdown price.
Abramovich in turn, accused Berezovsky of extracting money from him for political influence and claimed he had paid him 1.3 billion pounds to buy his freedom when Berezovsky fell out of favour with Russian president Vladimir Putin.
Abramovich’s lawyers also accused Berezovsky of ‘truly prodigious powers of self-deception’ and giving evidence coloured by his ‘vanity and his self-obsession.’
The lawyers claimed that Berezovksy was an “angry and embittered man” of “remarkable vanity and self-importance” which was “aggravated by a highly personal resentment of Mr Abramovich.”
“Large parts of his evidence can only be described as mendacious and dishonest,” the Telegraph quoted Abramovich’s lawyers, as saying in submissions to the court.
“He believes that Mr Abramovich has supplanted him in a position which is rightfully his and that he has acquired a sort of political influence under President Putin which he once enjoyed under a very different regime of Boris Yeltsin,” the lawyers added.
First Published: Friday, August 31, 2012, 19:06