MOSCOW – August 30, RAPSI. The Russian Legal Information Agency holds a live text coverage of judgment on the trial between Boris Berezovsky and Roman Abramovich in London.
Berezovsky is seeking over $5.5 billion from Abramovich, claiming that the latter forced him to sell some Russian assets for a price much lower than their market value in the early 2000s.
15:25 That's all for today's live broadcast. Stay tuned to the websites of RAPSI and RIA Novosti for updates, comments, and greater detail as it becomes available. Thank you for joining us this afternoon. Have a great weekend!
15:15 Another reaction to the court's decision: "The negative result in the Berezovsky suit will not affect the interest of the Russian business community in British justice. Corporate disputes will continue to bring cases in London," according to corporate dispute expert Ilya Ishuk. Furthermore, he said that the claims brought by Berezovsky against Abramovich "have nothing to do with the law; this is a kind of PR mechanism, so Berezovsky's claim lacked any basis." Ishuk doubts that a decision by Berezovsky to appeal the judgment will bring about new results. "British law is arranged in such a way to ensure that the first decision is usually sustained," he added.
14:58 Berezovsky says that he is diisenchanted with the British justice system.
14:56 On his way out of the courtroom, Berezovsky said that he has not yet decided whether to appeal; he will consult with his lawyers. "Judge Gloster is trying to rewrite history," Boris Abramovich said.
14:55 The lawyers are asking the judge for a determination of whether Berezovsky has a realistic prospect of appeal.
14:45 Gloster announced that she will not be able to return to consideration of the case until the beginning of October as holidays will be under way and then she has to participate in a conference.
14:42 The summary has been completed. The judge is thanking all involved in ensuring a respectful, disciplined, and retrained trial atmosphere. The judge is asking the parties whether they would like to proceed with further action, and whether they have any responses to make to her decision.
14:34 Gloster has addressed the issue of the the alleged transaction under English law, finding that Berezovsky owned aluminum assets. The judge did not see strength in the agreement on the sale of RUSAL shares signed between Berezovsky, Abramovich, Deripaska, and Patarkatsishvili in London's Dorchester Hotel.
14:33 We have reached the RUSAL issue. The judge finds that no agreement was established that would grant Berezovsky a share of income based on his ownership of aluminum assets. Abramovich agreed to pay Patarkatsishvili for mediation and protection, but nothing else.
14:27 "As a representative of Berezovsky, I cannot say that the decision was legal and reasonable. In my opinoin, it is quite difficult for a London judge to understand the situation in Russia during the 2000s. In particular, during the course of the trial this judge had to learn about such concepts as 'krysha' and 'kinut,'" Berezovsky's Russian lawyer Andrei Borovkov said. He believes that his client will appeal the decision. Borovkov doesn't believe Russian courts could handle a claim like this one.
14:25 The terms of the Devonia Agreement (for the sale of Sibneft shares through a Sheikh) were fictitious and created only for the appearance of keeping formalities. Abramovich was not part of the agreement and he did not know about its conditions, in the opinion of the court.
14:22 The judge saw no evidence from the materials submitted by Berezovsky and Patarkatsishvili that they were to receive a proceeds from Abramovich's Sibneft in exchange for their protection. The judge does not accept Berezovsky's claim that he sold his stake in ORT under coercion. The court believes the testimony provided by Voloshin, who swore that neither he nor President Putin threatened Berezovsky.
14:17 The judge will now turn to discussing specific points of the complaint on the merits.
14:12 In her decision, Gloster thanked those who were responsible for the quality and detail of the extensive written evidence submitted, without which she claims her task would have been immeasurably more difficult. She further thanked the translators for their mastery, speed, and understanding. She initially thought the translation process would take much longer.
14:08 The judge is explaining that she found Berezovsky's witness testinomies to be weak, full of contradictions, and frequently inconsistent. And she reproached Berezovsky for the fact that the testimonies of he and his witnesses often became long speeches.
14:04 Gloster notes the weakness of the claim from a legal perspective. It often boiled down to Berezovsky's word against Abramovich's.
14:03 The judge is questioning the quality of the party's submissions, claiming that the lawyers may have diluted their real contents. She continued that Berezovsky need to prove his own innocence.
14:02 The judge identified several key findings in the case. First, many critical aspects of the dispute arose from verbal agreements allegedly made between the parties. Second, the events involved in the claim occurred a very long time ago and many details have been forgotten by witnesses and parties involved, which is reflected in the poor quality of the evidence.
13:53 The judge by the time of the hearing has not yet learned how to pronounce the name of Patarkatsishvilli.
13:49 The verdict rationale makes repeated use of the word "krysha," a form of unofficial paid protection common to business practice in Russia in the 1990s.
13:46 The court's press office published the text of the decision online. Unsurprisingly, Berezovsky due to the fact that British courts do not generally recognize the oral agreement, according to experts and journalists present.
13:42 Judge Gloster is recalling the actual facts of the case in the suit concerning Sibneft.
13:40 The disposition is summarized as follows: “It follows that I dismiss Mr. Berezovsky's claims both in relation to Sibneft and in relation to RusAl in their entirety. I direct that any consequential matters arising out of this judgment should be addressed on a subsequent Draft 31 August 2012 10:10 Page 36 “
13:38 Berezovsky is sitting with his chin resting in his hand. He's occasionally sipping from a glass of water and listening to the rationale underlying the decision.
13:36 Both of Berezovsky's claims were turned down
13:30 Actually both teams of lawyers appear to be in good spirits.
13:26 The hearing looks set to begin. Berezovsky has arrived at court in a good mood. He started into the courtroom, but then promptly left again with his lawyers. They've gone to the conference room. Abramovich isn't here yet.
13:00 The claim at issue in today's verdict was filed more than five years ago. The trial began in October 2011.