LONDON, January 18 - RAPSI, Yelena Pakhomova, Vladimir Yaduta. Boris Berezovsky's lawyer Laurence Rabinowitz commenced his concluding remarks in the Russian business tycoons' court battle and accused defendant Roman Arbramovich of cynicism, deceit and collusion with witnesses, most of whom were his partners and friends, the Russian Legal Information Agency (RAPSI/rapsinews.com) reported on Wednesday.
Jonathan Sumption, counsel for Abramovich, delivered his closing speech in late December, although the hearings were to be closed by the defendant's party. The reason was Sumption's appointment to the Supreme Court from the beginning of the year and Mrs Justice Gloster changed the procedure.
Rabinowitz followed his opponent's tactics and referred to the points in his colleague's speech that he disagreed with. Since Sumption branded Berezovsky's testimony "questionable," Rabinowitz accused Abramiovich of dishonesty.
"It was a highly controlled performance by Mr. Aabramovich, who was meticulously prepared for the evidence he would give, and who had worked closely with his witnesses to put forward a story which he calculated would be accepted by the court," said the QC.
The Berezovsky vs. Abramovich trial began in early October. Berezovsky claims in his lawsuit that Abramovich intimidated him and his partner Badri Patarkatsishvili into selling a number of assets, including a 43-percent stake in Sibneft, a share of the Rusal aluminum group and his interest in the ORT TV channel, for significantly less than their value.
The claimed amount constitutes the differences between the price and the market value and is equal to more than $5 billion.
Abramovich's defense is based on the fact the Berezovsky has never owned a stake in the companies he mentioned, but received money for political protection or "krysha" in Russian, a word widely used during the litigation.
Rabinowitz is due to continue his speech on Wednesday. Then counsel for defendants in adjacent cases of Vasily Anisomov and the Patarkatsishvili family involved in the trial will take the floor.