Saturday 20 January 2018

Russian oligarch had debts of £300m before mysterious death

Boris Berezovsky who may have left debts of more than £300 million when he died in
Boris Berezovsky who may have left debts of more than £300 million when he died in "tragic and mysterious" circumstances, the High Court has heard

Brian Farmer

Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky may have left debts of more than £300 million when he died in "tragic and mysterious" circumstances, the High Court heard today.

A High Court judge said there was a dispute about whether or not Mr Berezovsky's estate was solvent.

 

But Mr Justice Morgan said reports from receivers who had analysed Mr Berezovsky's financial affairs suggested that the estate was insolvent.

 

And he said debts could total as much as £309 million.

 

Detail emerged at a High Court hearing in London after one of Mr Berezovsky's daughters asked to be allowed to become an executor of the estate.

 

Mr Justice Morgan was told that Ekaterina Berezovskaya disputed that her father's estate was insolvent and questioned receivers' analysis.

 

"The dispute is whether the estate is solvent or insolvent," said Mr Justice Morgan. "Information from receivers points to insolvency."

 

He added: "The receivers have told me a great deal about what they have uncovered."

 

The judge said he had seen detail of alleged debts and said the level of insolvency could be as high as £309 million.

 

Anthony Trace QC, for Ms Berezovskaya, said the judge was not in a position to decide whether Mr Berezovsky's estate was insolvent.

 

He said there were a "number of things" receivers "have not done" and questioned the adequacy of their investigation.

 

Mr Trace said Ms Berezovskaya had been appointed executor by her father who had "died in tragic and mysterious circumstances".

 

The judge is being asked to decide whether Ms Berezovskaya should be made a temporary administrator of her father's estate pending further litigation. The hearing is due to end later today.

 

Mr Berezovsky, 67, was found dead at his home in Ascot, Berkshire in March. A coroner has heard that he was found on a bathroom floor with a ligature around his neck.

 

Mr Justice Morgan later appointed Ms Berezovskaya an administrator of her father's estate on a "limited" basis.

 

He said she could be dealing with some "personal matters" and matters relating to litigation.

Press Association

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