Friday 24 November 2017

Abramovich labelled a 'gangster' by former associate in €3.4bn court case

Tom Peck in London

THE exiled Russian businessman Boris Berezovsky told the High Court in London yesterday of an "absolutely classic KGB black arts operation" to force him to sell shares in media and oil companies to Roman Abramovich.

He was giving evidence on the fourth day of a trial in which he is seeking more than £3bn (€3.4bn) in damages from Mr Abramovich, the billionaire owner of Chelsea Football Club, citing breach of trust and breach of contract.

Mr Berezovsky cited an interview in 2000 in which the Russian leader Vladimir Putin said he "had a cudgel in his hand and is ready to hit me on the head with it".

"First there is threat. Then there is negotiation," he said. "When negotiation fails, there is second threat. This is the type of KGB black arts operation you can read about in textbooks."

Mr Berezovsky and Mr Abramovich -- whom he labelled a "gangster" -- were once close associates, but after Mr Abramovich "betrayed him" he never spoke to him again. (© Independent News Service)

Irish Independent

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