Nobody protected my business in 1990s - Abramovich
LONDON, November 1 - RAPSI. Russian entrepreneur and Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich said on Monday that nobody protected his business in 1990s; therefore he refuted one of his defense lines in the hearing of Boris Berezovsky's $ 5.5 billion lawsuit, the Russian Legal Information Agency (RAPSI) reported.
Businessman Boris Berezovsky claims in his lawsuit that Abramovich intimidated him and his business partner Badri Patarkatsishvili into selling a number of assets including a 43-percent stake in Sibneft, a major Russian oil company, and a stake in the Rusal aluminum group for significantly less than their value.
Laurence Rabinowitz, a QC for Berezovsky suggested that Abramovich should clarify whether he controlled any state assets in mid-90s and whether some of his businesses were protected.
Abramovich said he was conducting business without any "krysha" or "protection."
Moreover, Chelsea owner stated that Berezovsky had never been Sibneft's shareholder, and the funds he got during the company's sale were paid for a certain protection.
The word "krysha" or "protection" and "protection money" was used several times during the hearings even by Jonathan Sumption QC, Mr Abramovich's lawyer.