LONDON, November 10 - RAPSI. Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, who is testifying in the London High Court of Justice, said that money paid to exiled oligarch Boris Berezovsky for participation in Sibneft were legal funds derived from aluminum business; he firmly denied any criminal schemes, RIA Novosti reported from the court.
The court began hearing Berezovsky's $5.5 billion lawsuit against Abramovich on October 3. Berezovsky claims that ten years ago Abramovich intimidated him into selling his stake in Sibneft at lower prices.
Berezovsky said he was paid $1.3 billion for his stake in the company.
Meanwhile, Abramovich said that Berezovsky had never been Sibneft's shareholder and he got the money for providing "protection".
The funds were transferred when Berezovsky was abroad. That's why he and his partner Badri Patarkatsishvili wanted to get them on their foreign bank accounts.
Abramovich said that no criminal schemes were used, even when the funds were transferred via a bank owned by some sheikh from Abu-Dhabi.
The aforementioned $1.3 billion were the last payment that put an end to relations between Abramovich and Berezovsky.