Russian tycoon Boris Berezovsky has lost his multibillion-dollar legal battle against fellow oligarch Roman Abramovich in a London courtroom.
Judge Elizabeth Gloster ruled the 66-year-old self-exiled tycoon was not as reliable as a witness as 45-year-old Mr. Abramovich, the billionaire owner of the Chelsea football club.
“The bottom line of my analysis of Mr. Berezovsky’s credibility is that he would have said almost anything to support his case ,” Justice Gloster said in her ruling.
Mr. Berezovsky, a former Kremlin power broker, alleged that Mr. Abramovich, who he called his protégé, had betrayed and intimidated him into selling his stakes in the Russian oil company Sibneft vastly beneath their value.
Mr. Berezovsky alleged blackmail and breach of contract and was seeking more than £3 billion ($4.8 billion) in damages.
Mr. Abramovich had denied the allegations.
Justice Gloster wrote that she “could not excuse the extent of Mr. Berezovsky’s deviations from his previous case as presented in his pleadings and witness statements. His “I blame my lawyers” excuse was not convincing. ”
On the contrary, she said found “Abramovich to be a truthful, and on the whole reliable, witness.”