Millhouse Capital, a company managing Russian tycoon Roman Abramovich's assets, has refused to comment on media reports that fugitive oligarch Boris Berezovsky handed him a writ in a London shop.
British tabloid The Daily Mail reported on Saturday that Berezovsky, who accuses Abramovich of pressuring him to sell key business projects at knock-down prices, tried to hand his former business partner a $10-billion writ, which he had been trying to do for the past six months, when they met by chance in a Hermes store.
“Flanked by three bodyguards, Berezovsky - who was granted political asylum in Britain four years ago after fleeing Russia in the face of embezzlement charges - had been shopping in the designer store Dolce & Gabbana. And as he was leaving, he spotted his sworn enemy in the Hermes store two doors away,” the newspaper wrote. Berezovsky, 61, reportedly told his bodyguards to fetch the writ, but when he tried to enter the shop, Abramovich's three bodyguards blocked his way.
“As a scuffle ensued between the two sets of rival bodyguards, Berezovsky forced open the door and barged his way in to confront an ashen-faced Abramovich. When he tried to thrust the writ into his hands, 41-year-old Abramovich pulled his arms back and the papers fell to the floor,” The Daily Mail wrote. Berezovsky's lawyers have demanded CCTV footage of the incident as evidence that the writ was served. Berezovsky claims that Abramovich was engaged in fraud and blackmail to seize his property, and earlier said he would demand compensation from Abramovich for the sale of oil company Sibneft, aluminum giant RusAl and the ORT TV channel in 2000-2003 for far less than their true value.
A respected Russian business daily, Vedomosti, cited a source in Abramovich's circle as saying Abramovich was not in London at the time of the reported incident. The United Kingdom has refused Russia's repeated requests for the extradition of Berezovsky, who Moscow accuses of embezzlement and money laundering. Eleven probes have so far been launched against the tycoon, who now goes by the name Platon Elenin in the United Kingdom, where he has been granted political asylum and citizenship. Abramovich, the owner of Chelsea FC, has more cordial relations with the Kremlin, and continues to serve as governor of the remote Chukotka Region in Russia's Far East. (en.rian.ru)