Full judgment released in Berezovsky v. Abramovich case
MOSCOW, September 21 - RAPSI. The High Court of Justice has published a statement of the reasons for its decision over the Boris Berezovsky v. Roman Abramovich lawsuit. It reads that Berezovsky lost because his arguments were unconvincing, he did not provide sufficient supporting documents and his witnesses were unreliable.
Berezovsky claimed that Abramovich had intimidated him and his business partner, Badri Patarkatsishvili, into selling a number of assets, including a 43 percent interest in the Sibneft oil company and a stake in the RUSAL aluminum group. Berezovsky sought $5.5 billion in damages.
In August the High Court of Justice dismissed Berezovsky's lawsuit. Following the trial, the plaintiff said that his faith in the British justice system had been undermined.
The 500 page plus ruling puts heavy emphasis on the incomplete information submitted to the court regarding an agreement allegedly arrived at between the parties 16 years ago. A large proportion of the documents which could have shed light on and clarified the relations between Berezovsky and Abramovich were either lost or were previously believed to be of no further use and so destroyed, which the court considered to be a logical decision for any business.
The court judged the absence of documents as an important factor in favor of Abramovich's position, stating that it was Berezovsky's responsibility to provide proof for his case.
Instead, the London court had to base its decision on the memories of the parties to the trial and numerous witnesses. Furthermore, some of the witnesses whose testimony could have been crucial had passed away. Of those witnesses who did appear before court, some were not prepared to give testimonies, while those given by others were poor and unimpressive.